Yet Another Autonomous Molecular Systems

From the perspective of biochemistry, living systems can be perceived as spatially and temporally integrated chemical reaction networks. In contrast to artificial chemical reactions in a flask, a vast number of chemical reactions progress simultaneously in a highly organized manner in a living cell to acheive various life processes. In life science experiments, it is common to retrieve various cellular molecules involved in targeted phenomena and use them to reconstruct the corresponding reactions in a test tube. Such a replication of cellular processes could allow a close examination of the reaction mechanism under conditions excluding unknown factors. However, it is often impossible to reproduce elaborate cellular reactions in vitro, since in conventional biochemistry techniques, reactions are performed in bulk and there is no available methodology for spatial and temporal control.

In the current research project, I propose to construct an innovative in vitro reaction system base on DNA nanotechnology, which allows chemical reactions to progress in the manner that it naturally occurs in vivo. The immediate expansion of DNA nanotechnology to life science, as is proposed in the present project, goes a step further by transforming static DNA nanotechnology to a dynamical one. I believe that once executed, this project would usher in a pioneering, novel discipline of bionanoscience.