Boolean-logic biomaterials

Biomaterials engineered to incorporate modular logic gates enable control over stimuli-triggered release

Latest Research

  • Article |

    The construction of dynamic protein–DNA nano-assemblies suitable for modulating protein proximities and activities has now been demonstrated. This approach uses DNA strand displacement and can enable control of enzyme activity to be programmed using logic gates. As a demonstration, a split enzyme capable of activating a prodrug is triggered is by cancer-specific miRNAs.

    • Rebecca P. Chen
    • , Daniel Blackstock
    • , Qing Sun
    •  & Wilfred Chen
  • Article |

    Heterometallic nanomaterials in unusual crystal phases that are impossible to form in the bulk state can show interesting physical and chemical properties. Here, crystal-phase heterostructured 4H/fcc Au nanowires are used as seeds to epitaxially grow a variety of binary and ternary hybrid noble metal nanostructures on the phase boundary.

    • Qipeng Lu
    • , An-Liang Wang
    • , Yue Gong
    • , Wei Hao
    • , Hongfei Cheng
    • , Junze Chen
    • , Bing Li
    • , Nailiang Yang
    • , Wenxin Niu
    • , Jie Wang
    • , Yifu Yu
    • , Xiao Zhang
    • , Ye Chen
    • , Zhanxi Fan
    • , Xue-Jun Wu
    • , Jinping Chen
    • , Jun Luo
    • , Shuzhou Li
    • , Lin Gu
    •  & Hua Zhang
  • Article |

    Even though the Grotthuss mechanism was proposed two centuries ago, it is still unclear why proton transfer via the hydroxide ion is slower than that via hydronium. Advanced ab initio molecular dynamics simulations now show that it is because proton transfer via hydroxide is less temporally correlated than transfer via hydronium.

    • Mohan Chen
    • , Lixin Zheng
    • , Biswajit Santra
    • , Hsin-Yu Ko
    • , Robert A. DiStasio Jr
    • , Michael L. Klein
    • , Roberto Car
    •  & Xifan Wu
  • Article |

    A method to produce sequence-defined, diversely functionalized nucleic acid polymers that bind to proteins of biomedical interest has been developed. The method is based on a ligase-mediated, DNA-templated polymerization system and in vitro selection. The selected polymers are shown to bind their targets in a manner that is strongly dependent on specific side chains at certain polymer positions.

    • Zhen Chen
    • , Phillip A. Lichtor
    • , Adrian P. Berliner
    • , Jonathan C. Chen
    •  & David R. Liu
  • Article |

    A low-power laser can cause phase separation or trigger the nucleation of a new phase in the proximity of a liquid–liquid critical point, or binodal, using a laser tweezing potential. This effect explains the physics behind non-photochemical laser-induced nucleation and suggests new ways of manipulating matter.

    • Finlay Walton
    •  & Klaas Wynne
  • Article |

    Nearly all organic carbon has now been quantified and characterized in a highly complex evolving atmospheric system, specifically, the multigenerational oxidation of α-pinene. It has been observed that initial addition of functional groups quickly gives way to fragmentation reactions, with organic carbon ultimately becoming sequestered in chemically resistant reservoirs: organic aerosols and long-lived gas-phase species.

    • Gabriel Isaacman-VanWertz
    • , Paola Massoli
    • , Rachel O’Brien
    • , Christopher Lim
    • , Jonathan P. Franklin
    • , Joshua A. Moss
    • , James F. Hunter
    • , John B. Nowak
    • , Manjula R. Canagaratna
    • , Pawel K. Misztal
    • , Caleb Arata
    • , Joseph R. Roscioli
    • , Scott T. Herndon
    • , Timothy B. Onasch
    • , Andrew T. Lambe
    • , John T. Jayne
    • , Luping Su
    • , Daniel A. Knopf
    • , Allen H. Goldstein
    • , Douglas R. Worsnop
    •  & Jesse H. Kroll

News & Comment

  • News & Views |

    The aqueous hydronium cation diffuses about twice as fast as the aqueous hydroxide anion in liquid water, but the origin of this behaviour has been unclear. Now, state-of-the-art simulations provide an explanation for this long-standing conundrum.

    • Ji Chen
    •  & Angelos Michaelides
  • News & Views |

    An arene-anchored uranium complex has recently been shown to serve as efficient electrocatalyst for the conversion of water into dihydrogen. Now, the crucial role of the arene moiety in enabling catalytic activity — unusual for uranium — has been explored, providing important insight for the design of improved electrocatalysts.

    • Marinella Mazzanti
  • In Your Element |

    Lars Öhrström suspects that as time goes by, we may see more of lutetium — the last of the lanthanoids.

    • Lars Öhrström
  • News & Views |

    Rational engineering of biosynthetic assembly lines for production of new compounds is an attractive prospect, yet it presents many challenges. Learning from biology, some of the rules for expanding the chemical diversity of non-ribosomal peptides have been uncovered in two recent studies.

    • Binuraj R. K. Menon
    •  & Matthew Jenner
  • News & Views |

    A simple palladium catalyst has mediated the facile formation of aroyl triflates — an extremely reactive class of electrophiles. These intermediates, generated in situ, enable the Friedel–Crafts acylation of traditionally unreactive arenes, addressing a significant gap in C–H carbonylation methodology.

    • Yong Ho Lee
    •  & Bill Morandi
  • News & Views |

    Mass spectrometry is a powerful technique for analysing proteins, yet linking higher-order protein structure to amino acid sequence and post-translational modifications is far from simple. Now, a native top-down method has been developed that can provide information on higher-order protein structure and different proteoforms at the same time.

    • Kathrin Breuker

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