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DNA Design That Anyone Can Do

By MIT News

January 7, 2019

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A computer program designed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Arizona State University allows users to translate any free-form drawing into a two-dimensional, nanoscale structure made of DNA, for applications in such areas as cell biology, photonics, and quantum sensing and computing.

The program, called PERDIX, is available online. It can take any free-form drawing and translate it into the DNA sequence to create that shape and into the sequences for the staple strands.

The shape can be sketched in any computer drawing program and then converted into a computer-aided design file, which is fed into the DNA design program.

Mark Bathe, an associate professor of biological engineering at MIT and the study's senior author, said, "Once you have that file, everything's automatic, much like printing, but here the ink is DNA."

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