University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
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Elias Puchner

Single-molecule cut-and-paste surface assembly
Kufer SK, Puchner EM, Gumpp H, Liedl T, and Gaub HE, Science 319, 594-6 (2008)

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We introduce a method for the bottom-up assembly of biomolecular structures that combines the precision of the atomic force microscope (AFM) with the selectivity of DNA hybridization. Functional units coupled to DNA oligomers were picked up from a depot area by means of a complementary DNA strand bound to an AFM tip. These units were transferred to and deposited on a target area to create basic geometrical structures, assembled from units with different functions. Each of these cut-and-paste events was characterized by single-molecule force spectroscopy and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Transport and deposition of more than 5000 units were achieved, with less than 10% loss in transfer efficiency.