Sunday, January 13, 2008

thoughts on assembly procedures

Been thinking a lot about assembly procedures and the top down/bottom up dichotomy.

In particular the technique of molecular imprinting has my mind spinning.

In a modern factory such as those which make linoleum there is a process called "roll-to-roll printing" which is a nice analogy for what I'm thinking of.

Say we take some DNA origami pattern or perhaps an active peptide, enzyme etc. and bond a molecule thick layer to a metal cylinder of sufficient diameter to have thermally separate zones. Then the coated cylinder rolls through a solution of -mers which cover and fill the voids and surfaces of the molecular molds. Appropriate polymerization agents (UV, ions, infrared or chemical) could then be applied and after the polymerization completes the cylinder could rotate into a region which cools it, thus pulling away the template from the polymer substrate.

In this manner a continuous surface of identical molecular behavior could be rolled out of effectively unlimited lengths.

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