The design of autonomous DNA nanomechanical devices: Walking and rolling DNA


Journal Article

We provide designs for the first autonomous DNA nanomechanical devices that execute cycles of motion without external environmental changes. These DNA devices translate across a circular strand of ssDNA and rotate simultaneously. The designs use various energy sources to fuel the movements, include (i) ATP consumption by DNA ligase in conjunction with restriction enzyme operations, (ii) DNA hybridization energy in trapped states, and (iii) kinetic (heat) energy. We show that each of these energy sources can be used to fuel random bidirectional movements that acquire after n steps an expected translational deviation of O(√n). For the devices using the first two fuel sources, the rate of stepping is accelerated over the rate of random drift due to kinetic (heat) energy. Our first DNA device, which we call walking DNA, achieves random bidirectional motion around a circular ssDNA strand by use of DNA ligase and two restriction enzymes. Our other DNA device, which we call rolling DNA, achieves random bidirectional motion without use of DNA ligase or any restriction enzyme, and instead using either hybridization energy (also possibly just using kinetic (heat) energy at a unfeasible low rate of resulting movement). © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Reif, JH

Published Date

  • December 1, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2568 /

Start / End Page

  • 22 - 37

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1611-3349

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0302-9743

Citation Source

  • Scopus