New York University Structural DNA Nanotechnology Facility View Homepage


Ontology type: schema:MonetaryGrant     


Grant Info

YEARS

2010-2013

FUNDING AMOUNT

1663215 USD

ABSTRACT

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). Intellectual Merit. Structural DNA nanotechnology - the use of synthetic DNA molecules to develop branched motifs that can be assembled into objects, lattices and devices using the information inherent in the DNA molecule - is a rapidly expanding research enterprise that was pioneered at New York University (NYU) by Professor Nadrian Seeman, a co-PI and Director of the NYU Structural DNA Nanotechnology Facility. This work has blossomed into an internationally recognized research discipline, but the existing conditions of the NYU facility, which was renovated more than 20 years ago, threaten to slow advances in the field. This infrastructure project will enable NYU to correct experimental limitations and poor working conditions in the existing facility, which include damaged walls, uprooted floor tiles, corroded casework, inoperable hoods, poor student workspace, poor crystal preparation and characterization space, inadequate Ethernet capabilities, and outdated molecular graphics and data analysis facilities. Moreover, advances in computation and instrumentation have rendered many infrastructure features of the facility obsolete. The proposed project will address these constraints by creating a 710 square foot data analysis room, with an adjoining 295 square foot computer graphics room; refurbishing two shared wet laboratories, totaling 1065 square feet; creating a 325 square foot crystal preparation and characterization room, reconfigured for improving crystal growth capability, atomic force microscopy and sample handling; and replacing an outdated cold room with a 120 square foot environmental chamber. The renovation will substantially improve shared space utilization, laboratory practices, cyberinfrastructure, data handling, DNA nanostructure design and characterization, integrity and reproducibility of experimental work, safety, data security, and laboratory security. Broader Impacts. Structural DNA nanotechnology was innovated and established in the site of this infrastructure renovation project, and during the past decade this field has grown from this single laboratory to nearly 50 laboratories worldwide today. The existing facility supports the research of the faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, and external collaborators on a continual basis. Moreover, as the founding site of structural DNA nanotechnology, the NYU facility has become a nexus for training many visitors on a continual basis. These individuals hail from U.S. institutions as well as institutions worldwide (e.g., Italy, Germany, South Korea, Japan, and Australia), all interested in learning structural DNA nanotechnology fundamentals. The facility trains at least three high school students each year, and many of the high school students have won awards based on their work. The renovation of the laboratory will permit continuation and expansion of these training activities and collaborations, which are essential to the continued growth of the structural DNA nanotechnology field. The renovation of the Structural DNA Nanotechnology Facility will permit its investigators to accelerate their research efforts, employing DNA nanostructures to direct the assembly of nanoparticles, inorganic nanotubes, and nanoelectronic/nanophotonic components into precise 3D arrangements. The investigators will incorporate DNA-based nanomechanical devices into 3D crystals and use molecular cavities in these crystals as host sites for biological species, which can facilitate structure determination of biomolecules as well as their organization into multi-enzyme species. The renovated facility will provide a modernized laboratory environment for training all levels of investigators in DNA design and synthesis, crystallization and crystal preparation, characterization, and data refinement and visualization. More... »

URL

http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=0957834&HistoricalAwards=false

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