NG Microsystems Seminar: Carlos Castro, "Self-assembly of DNA nanomechanical devices"
Thursday, May 4, 2017
1146 AV Williams Building
Self-assembly of DNA nanomachines and measurement devices
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Ohio State University
Structural DNA nanotechnology is a rapidly emerging field with exciting potential for applications such as single molecule sensing, drug delivery, and manipulating molecular components. However, realizing the functional potential of DNA nanodevices and nanomachines requires the ability to design dynamic mechanical behavior such as complex motion, conformational dynamics, or force generation. A major focus of our lab is to develop nanomechanical devices by adapting methods used in macroscopic machine design and assembly. I will discuss our development DNA nanostructures with programmable 1D, 2D, and 3D motion as well as dynamic nanostructures with controlled conformational dynamics. We aim to develop devices where nanoscale dynamic behavior (i.e. motion, conformational distributions, and kinetics) can be exploited to probe physical properties or manipulate nanoscale components or molecular interactions in real time. I will also present recent work on implementing a DNA nanocalipers to study the structure and structural dynamics of nucleosomes, the fundamental packaging unit for genomic DNA in cell nuclei, which consist of DNA wrapped around a protein core. Moving forward, our laboratory is working towards implementing these types of nanodevices in bioengineering and biomedical applications in biological and lab-on-a-chip environments.
Professor Castro received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering both in 2005 from The Ohio State University and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009. He then spent 1.5 years as an Alexander von Humboldt post-doctoral fellow at the Technische Universität München working in the field of DNA nanotechnology. Dr. Castro returned to The Ohio State University in 2011 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering where his laboratory focuses on the self-assembly of DNA nanomechanical devices as nanomachines and measurement devices to study biophysical function of molecular and cellular systems. He recently received an NSF Career Award, and his lab has published pioneering work in the design of DNA nanomachines with complex motion and mechanical behavior.