Toward reliable algorithmic self-assembly of DNA tiles: A fixed-width cellular automaton pattern

Kenichi Fujibayashi, Rizal Hariadi, Sung Ha Park, Erik Winfree, Satoshi Murata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


Bottom-up fabrication of nanoscale structures relies on chemical processes to direct self-assembly. The complexity, precision, and yield achievable by a one-pot reaction are limited by our ability to encode assembly instructions into the molecules themselves. Nucleic acids provide a platform for investigating these issues, as molecular structure and intramolecular interactions can encode growth rules. Here, we use DNA tiles and DNA origami to grow crystals containing a cellular automaton pattern. In a one-pot annealing reaction, 250 DNA strands first assemble into a set of 10 free tile types and a seed structure, then the free tiles grow algorithmically from the seed according to the automaton rules. In our experiments, crystals grew to ∼300 nm long, containing 300 tiles with an initial assembly error rate of ∼1.4% per tile. This work provides evidence that programmable molecular self-assembly may be sufficient to create a wide range of complex objects in one-pot reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1791-1797
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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