DNA hydrogels has a three-dimensional structure where long base chains are tangled up in a complicated way. Using the base’s chemical properties, lots of research has been done on gel-sol transition using triggers such as strands, temperature, photon, pH and pressure. Therefore we have decided to take the strand-controlled gel-sol transition to the next level; a gel-sol transition controlled by the input patterns of the strands. The gel only changes into sol when two specific strands exist as input, working as an AND gate.
We made a X-motif using four strands . The four strands each has cohesive ends, which enables the X-motifs to bond to each other, forming a DNA hydrogel by making it three-dimensional. We then did an experiment on gel-sol transition by putting a complementary strand to the strand constituting the hydrogel so that it would transit into a sol.
In the future, we hope to combine the sensing abilities DNA hydrogels have against the extensive environmental condition with DNA computing. This will let us make autonomous molecular robots, or DDS carrier that has conditional or time responsiveness.