A group of scientists from the National Institute of Health and the University of Montpellier have developed an innovative nanobot from DNA, which will allow for a more thorough study of the mechanical forces that operate at the microscopic level and are crucial to many biological and pathological processes, and the journal Nature Communications publishes details of the new development.
The function of human cell mechanism is associated with many diseases, such as cancer: pathological cells migrate within the body by sensing and constantly adapting to the mechanical properties of their micro-environment; this adaptation is possible only because certain forces are detected by mechanors who transmit information to the cytoskeleton of the cell.
Now, the knowledge of scientists about these molecular mechanisms involved in cell mechanism is still very limited, and a few technologies that are being applied today are actually very limited.
Now the research group uses the DNA-origami method to create an alternative solution, which allows itself to collect 3D nanostructures in a pre-defined form using the DNA molecule as a construction material, and over the past 10 years it has made significant advances in nanotechnology.
The new robot is made up of three DNA-origami structures. It's nanometre-sized, so it's compatible with the size of a human cell. It allows for the first time to use and control force with the resolution of 1 piconuton, namely, one trillion Newton, with one Newton corresponding to the force of pressing a finger on a pen. This is the first time that a human-made DNA-based self-assembly object can use force with such precision.