Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 59, Issue 11, pp 1192–1198 | Cite as

A molecular cryptography model based on structures of DNA self-assembly

  • Jing YangEmail author
  • Jingjing Ma
  • Shi Liu
  • Cheng ZhangEmail author
Article Computer Science & Technology


With the progress of DNA computing, DNA-based cryptography becomes an emerging interdisciplinary research field. In this paper, we present a novel DNA cryptography that takes advantage of DNA self-assembled structure. Making use of the toehold strands recognition and strand displacement, the bit-wise exclusive-or (XOR) operation is carried out to fulfill the information encryption and decryption in the form of a one-time-pad. The security of this system mainly comes from the physical isolation and specificity of DNA molecules. The system is constructed by using complex DNA self-assembly, in which technique of fluorescent detection is utilized to implement the signal processing. In the proposed DNA cryptography, the XOR operation at each bit is carried out individually, thus the encryption and decryption process could be conducted in a massive, parallel way. This work may demonstrate that DNA cryptography has the great potential applications in the field of information security.


Molecular cryptography One-time-pad Fluorescent signal DNA self-assembly Strand displacement 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61370099, 61143003, 61272161, 61127005, 61133010, and 61272246), the Beijing Excellent Talent Training Project (2013D009005000002), the Program of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities (B13009), the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (IRT0952), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central University (13QN14).


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Key Laboratory of New Technology and System on Measuring and Control for Industrial Process, School of Control and Computer EngineeringNorth China Electric Power UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of High Confidence Software Technologies, Ministry of Education, Institute of Software, School of Electronics Engineering and Computer SciencePeking UniversityBeijingChina

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