DNA Code Shapes Gold Nanoparticles

DNA Code Shapes Gold Nanoparticles

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DNA holds the genetic code for all sorts of biological molecules and traits. But University of Illinois researchers have found that DNA’s code can similarly shape metallic structures. The team found that DNA segments can direct the shape of gold nanoparticles — tiny gold crystals that have many applications in medicine, electronics and catalysis. Led by Yi Lu, the Schenck Professor of Chemistry at the U. of I., the team published its surprising findings in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Gold nanoparticles have wide applications in both biology and materials science thanks to their unique physicochemical properties. Properties of a gold nanoparticle are largely determined by its shape and size, so it is critical to be able to tailor the properties of a nanoparticle for a specific application.

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