The conception, synthesis, and invention of a nanostructure, now known as the spherical nucleic acid, or SNA, in 1996 marked the advent of a new field of chemistry. Over the past three decades, the SNA and its analogous anisotropic equivalents have provided an avenue for us to think about some of the most fundamental concepts in chemistry in new ways and led to technologies that are significantly impacting fields from medicine to materials science. A prime example is colloidal crystal engineering with DNA, the framework for using SNAs and related structures to synthesize programmable matter. Herein, we document the evolution of this framework, which was initially inspired by nature, and describe how it now allows researchers to chart paths to move beyond it, as programmable matter with real-world significance is envisioned and created.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Engineering
- General Physics and Astronomy
- General Materials Science