DNA is a polymer that stores the genetic information in living organisms. The structural features of DNA, such as the ability to form a stable double helix in which the complementary nucleotide residues of different strands are connected by hydrogen bonds, allow us to consider DNA not only as an information repository but also as the building material for the creation of various nano-molecules.

Today, it is simple to synthesize DNA molecules using specified sequences and possible to obtain relatively rough crystalline structures if the flexible DNA helices are combined together in a particular manner. The depicted model represents a structure that was created by Dr. Nadrian Seeman and is constructed from triangular subunits. Each triangle consists of short connected DNA molecules containing oligonucleotide sticky ends at the vertices, which allows the triangles to bind together and form a crystal structure [1]. Because various molecules can be attached to DNA subunits, DNA crystals such as these have a wide application, for example, to help solve different protein structures.

Date: Sep 29, 2010


  1. Zheng J et al., Nature. 2009 Sep 3;461(7260):74-7