Our Approach and Goals

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Top Introduction Approach and Goals Method Results and Discussion Member Sponsor

  • As the start point to solve the problems, we here design the simplest nano-device that rotates: the weathercock. We fabricate the rotating weathercock to detect water flow by combining inorganic nanoporous substrate with the nanoscale weathercock made by DNA origami. (fig.2-1)

  • We synthesize the DNA-origami-based “DNA weathercock” consist of the blade part which sense the water flow (instead of the wind in air) and the shaft part. (fig.2-2) The shaft is mounted into the vertical nanopores of "anodizing alumina" which is synthesized by electrode reaction of an aluminiuma metal plate. (fig.2-3) The size of the nanopore is tuned by changing the synthetic condition of the nanoporous alumina in the range of 20 nm - microns. We can further optimize the interaction between the DNA shaft and alumina surface by chemical modification of the alumina surface.


  • When the DNA weathercock catches the flow in the fluid, it turns to the direction of the flow. Since the head of the weathercock is attached with a fluorescence molecule, the flow direction is detected by the observation by confocal laser microsope or even by our naked-eyes through a polarizing film. (fig.2-4)

  • The criteria for the success of this project is as follows:
    • The synthesis and characterization of the nanoporous substrate
    • The design, synthesis and characterization of DNA weathercock
    • Mounting the DNA weathercock to the porous substrate
    • Observation of the rotation of the weathercock induced by flow