Programmable Self-Assembly of DNA-Based Nanomaterials

Featuring Associate Professor Yonggang Ke, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology.

Abstract: A key challenge in nanotechnology is the precise fabrication of complex nanostructures and nanodevices. DNA nanotechnology has attracted significant attention due to its programmability and its precise control of matter at nanoscale. The core mission of our lab is to develop novel bottom-up self-assembly strategies that use DNA as a “smart” biopolymer to build “soft” materials and molecular machines. 

By encoding the sequences of DNA strands in a rational-designed fashion, we can program the DNA strands to self-assemble into prescribed, complex nanostructures. Our recent works focus on making massive and intricate DNA nanostructures and dynamic DNA-based nanodevices. I will discuss how we fabricate fully addressable, three-dimensional nanostructures with rationally designed shapes and sizes, and how to create dynamic DNA nanomachines that can perform a range of controlled motions at nanoscale. By combining DNA self-assembly with other molecules and materials, we can create an even richer repository of functional nanomaterials and nanomachines. I will present some of our recent works on the self-assembly of functional nanomaterials, including DNA-guided self-assembly of plasmonic nanoparticles, magnetic nanoparticles, peptides, and proteins. Furthermore, we use these DNA-assembly-enabled nanomaterials in a range of applications, such as DNA-based nanofabrication, biosensors, nanoscale delivery systems, and biomimetic devices for molecular biology. 

Bio: Yonggang Ke received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Arizona State University in 2009, under the supervision of Professor Hao Yan. From 2009 to 2014, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, working with Prof. William Shih and Prof. Peng Yin. Since 2014, he has been working in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Tech. His research is funded by NSF, NIH, DOE, and he is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award in 2017. 

View a live stream of the seminar

A boxed lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.