Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Michael Norton


Nanotechnology refers to all technologies aiming to build objects, make measurements, and carry out processes on the nanometer length scale. In particular molecular nanotechnology exemplifies the so-called "bottom up" approach, which is briefly defined as the ability to build useful nanostructures with molecular precision, such as molecular machinery. Such capability for controlling matter at the molecular scale has always been the dream of scientists.

All living things are nanofoundries. Billions of years ago, nature perfectly provided all living things with the most accurate biological nanotechnology systems. Cellular internal dynamics, communicative resonance in protein conformational states, viruses as microreplicators, nanoscale life mechanisms, (e.g. repairing and replication) and nanoscale energy exchanges are examples of these systems. It is clear that learning and using some biological techniques (DNA replication), or even using some of the molecular tools provided by nature (enzymes) will be most relevant to nanotechnology development.

In this project we demonstrate how we can derive benefit from employing biological techniques, such as Rolling Circle Amplification, Polymerase Chain Reaction, and cloning to address the challenge of emplacing DNA nanoarrays at pre-determined locations on a surface.

In vitro, rolling Circle amplification (RCA) driven by DNA polymerization was first reported by Eric T. Kool and coworkers in 1995. DNA products resulting from RCA are repeating head-to-tail multimeric copies of the DNA template. We report the design and synthesis of both single stranded circular DNA (used as a template) and a multimeric product. Using the RCA technique, long tandem repeats, consisting of multiple copies of a 95 base pair sequence have been produced. We incorporated two specific, unique sequences at each end of these synthesized DNA strands, which can be used as recognition sites for surface hybridization. For the first time, heterogeneity has been introduced into a repetitive system to yield a modular nanostructured macromolecule. This product was further cloned into bacterial host cells. The DNA fragments were extracted and sequenced. The results not only confirm success in these particular experiments, but they also verify the general validity of this technique for generating nano-constructs semi- biosynthetically.

In order to demonstrate applicability of the RCA product to nanotechnology, we used these strands as scaffolds for gold nanoparticle patterning.