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NAME: Tanner Bakhshi

PROJECT TITLE: A Foundation for DNA Structures

In the recent past, DNA Origami and its applications in the field of nanotechnology have been heavily researched topics the world over, including here at Marshall University. During my research last summer, I focused on two projects involving DNA Origami. The first project was the “stamping” of origami onto different surfaces using stamps made out of a soft, plastic-like material called polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS). Results showed that it is possible to stamp DNA onto mica and silicon in a distinct pattern, but the shape of the origami was lost in the process. Regardless of quality, however, the fact that DNA could be stamped in an ordered fashion is progress and a step in the right direction. The second project was designing a program for a thermal cycler that could form origami in thirty minutes, a sharp decrease in time from the standard eighteen-hour method using a real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine. Results showed that the thirty-minute thermal cycler procedure was capable of forming 1D and 2D cross origami with the same quality as origami produced using the eighteen-hour PCR method. Thus, the shorter thirty-minute method of origami formation can be used as a viable alternative to the eighteen-hour procedure when fast experimental turnaround is desired.

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