Design of a Minimal System for Self-replication of Rectangular Patterns of DNA Tiles
Complex nanostructures assembled from DNA tiles cannot be manufactured in large volumes without extensive wet-lab efforts. Self-replication of tile structures would offer a low-cost and efficient nanomanufacturing if it would be based on an automated dynamically controlled assembly and disassembly of tiles — an attribute that is lacking in existing tile self-assembly framework. Here we propose self-replication of rectangular two-dimensional patterns based on the abstract Tile Assembly Model, by designing a system of tiles which replicate a target pattern by replicating its “L”-shaped seed. Self-replication starts by the formation of a mold structure from a “L”-shaped seed of a target pattern. The mold consists of switch-enabled tiles that can be dynamically triggered to dissociate the seed and the mold templates. The dissociated mold and seed structures each further catalyse assembly of new templates of seed and mold structures, respectively, forming the basis of a cross-catalytic exponential replication cycle.
KeywordsNature-inspired materials Minimal self-replication DNA tile Self-assembly Switch-enabled tiles
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