Consider the figure above. If you wish to synthesize any of the shapes shown on the left (Fig. A), you will find a variety of methods that suit your needs. Researchers have grown adept at synthesizing nanospheres, nanocubes, nanoprisms, nanotubes, lattices of nanoparticles, and a multitude of other highly symmetric monodisperse systems of nearly identical particles. However, if you instead wish to synthesize the object on the right (Fig. B), you will find currently available synthesis techniques extremely lacking.
In the time since Richard Feynman first predicted the coming age of nanotechnology, popular science writers have promoted future advances with images of remote-controlled nanobots piloted through our blood streams, lancing our cancer cells, and keeping us healthy well into old age. Today, nanobots (and many other useful devices) can be conceived and designed theoretically, but they simply cannot be manufactured using tools currently available. While we have lathes, 3D printers, and a variety of other shape molding methods to create complex shapes at macroscale, there is presently no all-purpose “3D printer” equivalent manufacturing tool that can create a complete set of all shapes at nanoscale. Until we develop such a tool, the nanobot dream scenario will be relegated to the realm of science fiction.
At DNP123, we are bridging the gap between design and assembly. This is possible because our patent-pending core IP—patched nanocubes that can be programmed to assemble any designable shape—affords a simple, standardized method of creating any structure at nanoscale. This assembly method permits the modular connection of device components, allowing complex products to be programmatically designed and assembled simply, quickly, and easily.
What’s new in your approach? Why is it advantageous? At its core, our innovation is simply the ability to connect blocks. Its strength lies in simplicity and customizability: assembling complex new structures is just like building with LEGOs. Using DNA-patches on each face, we are able to program how nanocube blocks will bind to each other. The ability to connect blocks provides a general method for scaling up to complex three-dimensional structures in any desired shape, regardless how anisotropic or complex the target structure may be. Furthermore, the blocks self-assemble. This makes automating manufacturing particularly easy, since one need not use complicated robotic machinery in the assembly process.
What impact will it make? From drug delivery containers to chemical sensors that detect bioterrorism, there is broad societal need for a standardized manufacturing platform that can assemble nanoscale products. A fast, inexpensive method of rapidly prototyping nanoscale products will extend nano- and biotech innovation beyond high priced research labs into early stage startups and college dorm rooms. The simplicity of our design-and-connect methodology makes it so that anyone with an imagination and the desire to invent can manufacture the next world changing nanotech device. Makers building with our technology can generate an explosion of products and innovation that one company alone could never hope to produce.
What will it take to succeed? To be successful, DNP123 technologies needs an active base of dedicated users looking to build the next generation of nanoscale technologies. Are you an academic, governmental, or industrial researcher with a nanotech problem you’ve been unable to solve by conventional means? Are you a tinkerer looking for a new medium to play in? If so, we want to hear from you. Visit our Contact page and introduce yourself. We’ll work with you to get you up and running.
The future is in your hands. What will you build?