The combination of synthetic stable branched DNA and sticky-ended cohesion has led to the development of structural DNA nanotechnology over the past 30 years. The basis of this enterprise is that it is possible to construct novel DNA-based materials by combining these features in a self-assembly protocol. Thus, simple branched molecules lead directly to the construction of polyhedrons, whose edges consist of double helical DNA and whose vertices correspond to the branch points. Stiffer branched motifs can be used to produce self-assembled two-dimensional and three-dimensional periodic lattices of DNA (crystals). DNA has also been used to make a variety of nanomechanical devices, including molecules that change their shapes and molecules that can walk along a DNA sidewalk. Devices have been incorporated into two-dimensional DNA arrangements; sequence-dependent devices are driven by increases in nucleotide pairing at each step in their machine cycles.


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