DNA-based Sensing, Communicating, and Phase-separating Materials

Project Personnel

Carlos Castro

Principal Investigator

Ohio State University


Michael Poirier

Ohio State University


Gaurav Arya

Duke University


Funding Divisions

Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI), Division of Materials Research (DMR)

This research seeks to develop DNA-based robotic materials that sense forces, communicate signals over long distances, and exhibit phase separating functionalities, which will have applications ranging from nanomanufacturing to medicine. The team will leverage the well-defined geometry and dynamic properties of DNA nanostructures and the programmability of DNA binding interactions. Multi-scale molecular modeling will guide the design of DNA devices with feedback from single molecule characterization. The team will create materials that exhibit collective behaviors driven by local interactions to enhance sensing, signal transmission, and pattern formation behaviors, providing a foundation for complex robotic nanomaterials that operate in aqueous environments.


Integrated computer-aided engineering and design for DNA assemblies
Chao-Min Huang, Anjelica Kucinic, Joshua A. Johnson, Hai-Jun Su & Carlos E. Castro
Apr 2021
Dynamic DNA nanotechnology: toward functional nanoscale devices
Marcello DeLuca, Ze Shi, Carlos E. Castroc, and Gaurav Arya
Oct 2019