Engineering Peptides, Proteins, and Lipid Bilayers with DNA Nanotechnology

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportPh.D. thesisResearch

  • Rasmus Peter Thomsen
DNA nanotechnology has evolved immensely since its inception more than 35 years ago. During the process, DNA has established itself as a versatile building material for self-assembly of nanoscale architectures and devices. A key feature of DNA nanotechnology is the inherent structural programmability derived from its sequence specific nature. This programmability can be used to create switching behaviors, barcode macromolecules and organize larger biological assemblies. Thus, emerging applications range from fundamental studies of macromolecules and their interactions to areas of synthetic engineering and tailored robotic-functions. Since the invention of DNA origami in 2006, the possibility to create rationally designed complex DNA architectures have accelerated the application range considerably. Particularly, DNA origami sparkled the invention of biomimetic DNA devices, DNA-based bio-engineering tools and innovative nanoscale supramolecular assemblies. Consequently, the state of DNA nanotechnology today has moved from a structure-centric field to a focus on more functional aspects. As a result, new applications have been established in scientific areas not even imaginable 35 years ago.

This Ph.D. dissertation is comprised of a more general introduction to DNA and DNA nanotechnology, followed by four chapters to describe a selection of five projects I have been part of. Common to all projects are the use of various DNA nanotechnology methods to engineer self-assembled biological architectures. All projects seek to expand their respective sub-fields within DNA nanotechnology. Tailored DNA-based systems have in each case been developed. In this light, the dissertation will move from simpler DNA self-assembled systems utilizing a few distinct oligonucleotides (projects 1 to 3 in Chapter 2 and Chapter 3), towards large and functional DNA origami architectures made from thousands of base pairs (projects 4 and 5 in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5). The first two projects focus on structural characterization of new methods to create self-assembled DNA-based architectures to develop future macromolecular engineering tools. The following three projects demonstrate different approaches to engineer biological assemblies and macromolecules using DNA-based systems. While the third and fourth projects engineer lipid bilayers (Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 respectively), the fifth project engineer a part of an enzyme pathway (Chapter 5).

In short, the projects described in this dissertation builds upon prior progress within DNA nanotechnology and seek to advance the field towards future technological applications. They demonstrate the versatility and modularity of DNA nanotechnology as a nanoscale engineering tool. The main take-away message are the wide array of emerging applications of DNA based systems, which span far beyond the scope of this dissertations.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAarhus Universitet
Number of pages245
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Termination date: 23.11.2018

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