Scalable, Time-Responsive, Digital, Energy-Efficient Molecular Circuits Using DNA Strand Displacement
We propose a novel theoretical biomolecular design to implement any Boolean circuit using the mechanism of DNA strand displacement. The design is scalable: all species of DNA strands can in principle be mixed and prepared in a single test tube, rather than requiring separate purification of each species, which is a barrier to large-scale synthesis. The design is time-responsive: the concentration of output species changes in response to the concentration of input species, so that time-varying inputs may be continuously processed. The design is digital: Boolean values of wires in the circuit are represented as high or low concentrations of certain species, and we show how to construct a single-input, single-output signal restoration gate that amplifies the difference between high and low, which can be distributed to each wire in the circuit to overcome signal degradation. This means we can achieve a digital abstraction of the analog values of concentrations. Finally, the design is energy-efficient: if input species are specified ideally (meaning absolutely 0 concentration of unwanted species), then output species converge to their ideal concentrations at steady-state, and the system at steady-state is in (dynamic) equilibrium, meaning that no energy is consumed by irreversible reactions until the input again changes.
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