Your Form is in Your DNA: Shape-Memory Hydrogels Based on Nucleic Acid Bridging

Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA holds the “plan of life”, i.e. all the information required for a living organism to develop, prosper, and replicate. This wealth of information can be stored via complementary interactions between the intricate components of DNA, which are called bases. Materials scientists have successfully applied these complementary hydrogen bonds in DNA to build complex “DNA origami” scaffolds, showing the potential of DNA in this regard.

Soft materials like hydrogels are of increasing scientific interest due to their softness and biocompatibility. It is highly desired to develop hydrogels that can be stimulated to undergo reversible, memory-dictated transitions between stiff, defined structures, and shapeless, quasi-liquid states.

The molecular memory property of DNA is a promising way to provide this structural memory. In their paper in Advanced Functional Materials, Professor Itamar Willner and his co-workers describe a stimuli-responsive hydrogel able to switch between states of high and low stiffness based on bimodal, selective triggers.

Know more http://bit.ly/BrochureSmartMaterials

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