Programmable DNA Glue: Repairs and Regenerates Tissues


This news, literally jolted me up to the Low Earth Orbit. Just for the record, this is a research and so I guess you could get the metaphor ‘Low Earth Orbit’. The research goes straight from a sci-fi movie like Repo Men. If you have ever seen the movie, and somehow if you happen to be the person I am who often gets fascinated by the techs they use in the movies, you would love this piece of news. It’s about that one scene, where the guy gets healed instantly by spraying a gel over his surgical cut.


DNA in Motion – CC BY 2.0 | Attribution: Marc Samsom

Researchers at Harvard University have successfully converted DNA into programmable glue that fixes damaged tissues and organs. They call it as the ‘Programmable Glue’. These DNA strands are multiplied into a giant super DNA strand and are coated with Hydrogel cubes which later combine to form the super programmable glue. The authors of Hydrogel study believes that this glue is a promising hope in the tissue engineering where these could power up the living organ’s capability to regenerate and repair itself. This eliminates the risk/time/need for a surgery as a simple injection of these hydrogel can fix and reconstruct tissues internally too.


The Science Part

DNA is basically made of four molecules known as the bases. AGCT (Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Thymine) link each other in a certain order to form the DNA double-helix structure. I.e. A linked with T, G linked with C. So this forms to sides with different arrangements of the AGCT and TCGA. This property naturally makes the DNA to act as glue. And thus, the Harvard researchers, the Wyss Institute researchers coated these DNA bases in an unpaired form with the hydrogel that can only bind with the proper hydrogel cubes that were bounded by complimentary DNA. So when injected into the human body, this can readily bind with the internal organ and fix it up. While it is still at the research phase, it still can be applied in manufacturing lenses and other bio products. Well, I’m excited by this research anyway…

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This post was first published on September 12, 2013.


Karthikeyan KC

Aeronautical engineer, dev, science fiction author, gamer, and an explorer. I am the creator of Geekswipe. I love writing about physics, aerospace, astronomy, and python. I created Swyde. Currently working on Arclind Mindspace.

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