DNA glue directs tiny gel ‘bricks’ to self-assemble (Peng Yin)
New method could help reconnect injured organs or build functional human tissues
A team of researchers at the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has found a way to self-assemble complex structures out of gel “bricks” smaller than a grain of salt. The new method could help solve one of the major challenges in tissue engineering: creating injectable components that self-assemble into intricately structured, biocompatible scaffolds at an injury site to help regrow human tissues.
The key to self-assembly was developing the world’s first programmable glue. The glue is made of DNA, and it directs specific bricks of a water-filled gel to adhere only to each other, the scientists report in the Sept. 9 online issue of Nature Communications.
Read more here: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/09/dna-glue-directs-tiny-gel-bricks-to-self-assemble/