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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 453953, 5 pages
Research Article

FOLDNA, a Web Server for Self-Assembled DNA Nanostructure Autoscaffolds and Autostaples

Bio-X Institutes, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 1954 Huashan Road, Shanghai 200240, China

Received 3 April 2012; Revised 23 July 2012; Accepted 10 August 2012

Academic Editor: Menka Jain

Copyright © 2012 Chensheng Zhou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


DNA self-assembly is a nanotechnology that folds DNA into desired shapes. Self-assembled DNA nanostructures, also known as origami, are increasingly valuable in nanomaterial and biosensing applications. Two ways to use DNA nanostructures in medicine are to form nanoarrays, and to work as vehicles in drug delivery. The DNA nanostructures perform well as a biomaterial in these areas because they have spatially addressable and size controllable properties. However, manually designing complementary DNA sequences for self-assembly is a technically demanding and time consuming task, which makes it advantageous for computers to do this job instead. We have developed a web server, FOLDNA, which can automatically design 2D self-assembled DNA nanostructures according to custom pictures and scaffold sequences provided by the users. It is the first web server to provide an entirely automatic design of self-assembled DNA nanostructure, and it takes merely a second to generate comprehensive information for molecular experiments including: scaffold DNA pathways, staple DNA directions, and staple DNA sequences. This program could save as much as several hours in the designing step for each DNA nanostructure. We randomly selected some shapes and corresponding outputs from our server and validated its performance in molecular experiments.