Whitesides Research

Whitesides Group Research

Self-Assembly

Beads-on-a-string: a controlled system for bio-inspired Self-Assembly.

The beads-on-a-string model has been developed in the group as a model of dynamics of biological polymers, such as DNA or RNA. Self-Assembly is a process where pre-designed components assemble in a determined structure without the intervention of human operators. In the present case, the beads move on a horizontal surface randomly agitated. The tune of the chain sequence allows us to control the efficiency of the self-assembly process. Our beads-on-a-string model is made by attaching a sequence of beads that charge positively and beads that charge negatively. We can, for example, control the Self-Assembly yield by tuning the design of the chain (see Figure 1).

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