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DNA-Based Silver Nanowire Made by Scientists from Russia and Israel
December 28, 2016 09:57

According to scientists, the use of conductive DNA molecules makes it possible to create a new generation of electronic circuits and electric devices.
An international team of scientists from Russia and Israel has made nanowire from the DNA molecules and nanoparticles of silver. The study is published in the  Advanced Materials journal, the press service of the Moscow Physics Technology Institute informs.
"We have found out that DNA can interact with nanoparticles of silver and "pick up" this metal's atoms. Hence, its plating occurs" - the press release cites Dmitry Klinov, the head of the Medical Nanotechnology Laboratory and a lecturer of the Molecular and Translational Medicine of the MPhTI.
As he points out, the use of conductive DNA molecules makes it possible to create a new generation of electronic circuits and electric devices, but in some cases the conductivity of DNA is very low, so the researchers decided to coat the DNA with a silver layer in order to improve its conductivity.
The authors observed that DNA consisting of guanine and cytosine (two of the four nitrogenous bases that make up the structural units of the DNA molecule) can be uniformly metallized with silver atoms. They added artificially synthesized guanine-cytosine DNA to the solution of silver nanoparticles coated with oligonucleotides, that is extremely short "pieces" of DNA and kept it all for 2-3 days. The particles interacted with DNA and "gave away" their atoms to it. The resulting DNA was uniformly covered with silver atoms.
The resulting molecule was named E-DNA ("E" stands for "electric"). E-DNA becomes more rigid and resistant to mechanical deformation; moreover, it cannot be destroyed with enzymes specific for the parent molecule. "Since the metal atoms are evenly spaced along the DNA molecule, we expect such nanowires to be a good conductor," -  Dmitry Klinov explains.
In further studies, the authors will continue to study the properties of E-DNA and the mechanisms of its metallization.


Author: Vera Ivanova


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