DNA origami is a new field of research that explores the folding capabilities of DNA to create nanoscale tools. Why would this be useful?
Dr. Shelley Wickham from the University of Sydney Nano Institute and the School of Chemistry was this week awarded a prestigious Westpac Research Fellowship to explore this technique to create nanoscale tools – tiny tweezers, spanners, wrenches, and springs – which are used to understand how cells work. Dr. Wickham is attempting to solve the issue of blood clotting on medical devices, such as artificial heart valves, by building new nanostructures out of DNA to understand how clotting occurs.
Blood clots are a leading cause of device failure and Dr. Wickham’s research has the potential to benefit many Australians affected by heart disease. “My research uses a bottom-up methodology to understand what happens on materials, such as artificial heart valves, at the nanoscale,” Dr. Wickham said.
Image: YouTube – DNA Origami
This story is taken from the 29 June 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.