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Tuesday, 06 July, 2010

The attraction of gold

Electric voltage controls the chemical bonding of DNA

There are two ways to create nanostructures: scientists either split larger structures into pieces or they combine tiny building blocks to build new systems. In order to succeed in the latter approach they have to pick up the separate parts and place them with nanometer precision. Biophysicists at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München have now developed a technique for the exact arrangement of separate DNA molecules on a gold electrode, without any extensive preparation needed, neither for the gold surface nor for the DNA. NIM scientist Hermann Gaub, Professor for Biophysics, and his group members made use of electro chemistry. By switching an electric voltage applied to the gold electrode, the researchers are able to control, whether the DNA binds chemically with the gold atoms or not. A negative voltage lets the molecule bind to the surface. A positive voltage leaves it free.

To complete press release

To homepage Prof. Gaub

 

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