Department Colloquium: Tuesday May 2, 2023 - Structure and Function in a DNA Liquid

Event Date: 

Tuesday, May 2, 2023 - 3:45pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640 and Zoom
  • Physics Department Colloquium

This event will be in-person and on Zoom.

Structure and Function in a DNA Liquid

Omar Saleh, University of California Santa Barbara

Multi-armed DNA particles ('nanostars') can condense into liquid phases through interactions of single-stranded sticky ends that decorate each arm. These phases are analogous to biological condensates, but are more colloidal in that each nanostar in the dense phase solely occupies its pervaded volume, rather than entangling in a polymeric fashion with its neighbors. As a result, nanostar liquids are tenuous and highly programmable through control of the sticky-ends, along with being functionalizable through sequence-specific interactions with solutes. I will highlight some recent work on these DNA liquids, notably including discovery of the long-range hyperuniform droplet-droplet structure created by the phase separation process, and advances in driving the system to non-equilibrium states through coupling to enzymatic interactions.



Omar Saleh