The Basics

Here, we will introduce key definitions to help you understand our design.

Scientists have observed that short pieces of double stranded DNA spontaneously order end-to-end (Nakata et. al Science 2007).We can use this interaction to build a biomolecular scaffold.

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The starting materials for this project are co-crystals, made of two or more distinct components. We are specifically using co-crystals of DNA-Binding Proteins (DBPs). DBPs are able to bind to single- or double-stranded DNA. We are re-engineering existing co-crystals found in the Protein Data Bank (PDB).

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Researchers, such as Yaghi, in the metal organic framework (MOF) community use the term isoreticular to describe when the material is made of a “net” of the same topology. (Zheng et. al, Nature 2009) Our co-crystals are isoreticular as well, since they are built of consistent DNA-protein complexes.

Our design is expected to create a porous and rigid scaffold. Watch our design video to see how this works.

See the Applications section for more information on how we can use our Isoreticular Co-crystals.