Implementing Molecular Logic Gates, Cascades, and Circuits Using DNAzymes

13th March 2015

Versione stampabile

Venue: Edificio Povo 2, via Sommarive nr. 9, Povo (Tn) - Room B101
 at 2:00 p.m.

  • Darko Stefanovic - Department of Computer Science and the Center for Biomedical Engineering, University of New Mexico

When we say that molecules compute, we usually mean that an assembly of molecules detects certain inputs, typically the presence or absence of other molecules, and responds by producing one or more output signals, which may take the form of the release of an output molecule or the generation of a detectable fluorescent signal.  The goal of a molecular computer scientist is to engineer the intervening molecular system so that the pattern of output signals is related to the pattern of input signals by the desired logic function. 
Our experimental work focuses on catalytic nucleic acid chemistry, in particular, DNAzymes (deoxyribozymes), which are DNA-based enzymes that can cleave or combine other nucleic acid strands.  Our early approach to molecular computing included the first reported complete set of nucleic acid-based logic gates, which we then used to produce autonomous molecular computing systems that implement well-known logic circuits such as adders and large-scale game-playing automata.  In current work, we are extending this approach to achieve signal propagation in DNAzyme cascades and have begun applying these new techniques to biodetection applications.