Biomod/2011/Caltech/DeoxyriboNucleicAwesome/Domain Level Project Design
Domain Level Project Design
Consider 2D origami plane. On this plane is a random assortment of objects that have some meaning to us, something that we take some interest in keeping track of. Our goal for the summer is to develop and test a system that is capable of retrieving and sorting these objects in a meaningful way, to provide some order to what is currently a relatively chaotic system, and give us some ability to track these objects of interest.
We see this technology being used effectively in a number of practical applications. The ability to sort on its own has plenty of uses. Additionally, when coupled with other mechanisms, the ability to sort has the possibility to lead to systems that automatically collect and remove byproducts from a reaction, purify a system and condense products into specified locations, and aid in controlled and detailed micro assembly machines. Additionally, our specific implementation of a solution to this problem is universal enough that it can be applied to not only DNA, but anything that can be tagged with a DNA identifier. For these reasons, we believe that this technology is worth developing such that it can be used as a tool by others in their applications.
Random Walking Mechanism
The backbone of our design is a random walker that moves across the surface of a rectangular origami. The mechanism by which said walker moves is simply strand displacement, whereby the walker contains a toehold on each end of the body, and the track strands on which it walks contains the complement of one of the two toeholds on the walker. This particular arrangement allows the walker to move randomly between track strands without modifying previously visited track segments.
Cargo Pick-Up Mechanism
Cargo Drop-Off Mechanism