DNA directed self-assembly of shape-controlled hydrogels

1] Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [2] Department of Medicine, Center for Biomedical Engineering, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [3] Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
Nature Communications (Impact Factor: 11.47). 09/2013; 4:2275. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3275
Source: PubMed


Using DNA as programmable, sequence-specific 'glues', shape-controlled hydrogel units are self-assembled into prescribed structures. Here we report that aggregates are produced using hydrogel cubes with edge lengths ranging from 30 μm to 1 mm, demonstrating assembly across scales. In a simple one-pot agitation reaction, 25 dimers are constructed in parallel from 50 distinct hydrogel cube species, demonstrating highly multiplexed assembly. Using hydrogel cuboids displaying face-specific DNA glues, diverse structures are achieved in aqueous and in interfacial agitation systems. These include dimers, extended chains and open network structures in an aqueous system, and dimers, chains of fixed length, T-junctions and square shapes in the interfacial system, demonstrating the versatility of the assembly system.

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Available from: Yanan Du, May 05, 2014
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    • "An exciting development that allows novel possibilities is the use of the specific bonding of DNA base pairs [92]. Recently, this technique has been used to glue different micro-materials together in an instructed and organized fashion [93]. This can in theory allow for the formation of highly organized and structured implants due to near infinite amount of possible combinations and specificity of these bonds. "
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    • "This suggests that the compactness and circularity of the aggregates is not solely cellguided , but can also be modulated by the culture conditions (Figure S5.4A–D). Other potential approaches to control the density and complexity of the aggregates could for example be the design of objects having a high aspect ratio or asymmetry, which could inhibit the compaction sterically, or by partial functionalizion of the objects to create amphiphilic elements or to introduce a so-called 'DNA glue' for directing the mesoscale assembly [30]. To investigate whether these aggregates can be monitored with respect to cell viability, morphology and tissue growth, and to increase the clinical relevance, further experiments were carried out using oxygen-plasma-treated objects combined with hMSCs. "
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