Nano-construction with DNA

PhD defence, Thursday, 27 October 2016. Sarah W. Helmig

2016.10.27 | Steffi Hjerrild Iversen

Sarah Wendelbo Helmig

During her PhD studies, Sarah Helmig, M.Sc., has studied the use of DNA as a construction material for the formation of nanostructures, using the so-called ‘DNA Origami’ method. The self-recognizing properties of DNA give rise to programmable interactions between DNA strands, thereby allowing for the formation of complex DNA nanostructures through careful design of the individual interactions between the DNA strands. The nanostructures typically measure 50-100 nanometers, corresponding to approximately 1/1,000 of a hair strand.

In her PhD thesis, Sarah has described the use of these DNA nanostructures to study chemical reactions, develop communication systems for DNA nanorobots, and for the delivery of cancer vaccine components to targeted cells, among other things.

It has been predicted that DNA nanostructures could revolutionize research within e.g. nanoelectronics and nanomedicine, and the results obtained in this PhD study contribute to understanding the possibilities and challenges in the application of these nanostructures.

The PhD degree was completed at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Science and Technology, Aarhus University

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Thursday, 27 October 2016 at 13.15
Building 1533, room 103, Lecture Theatre E, Department of Mathematics, Ny Munkegade 118, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C
Thesis Title:
Design, Formation, and Application of Scaffolded DNA Nanostructures
Sarah Helmig, e-mail:, tel.: +45 2445 8240
Assessment Committee:

Professor, Dr. Friedrich C. Simmel, Department of Physics, Technical University of Munich, Germany
Professor Poul Nielsen, Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Pharmacy, University of Southern Denmark
Professor Troels Skrydstrup (chair), iNANO and Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University
Main Supervisor:

Professor Kurt V. Gothelf, iNANO and Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University
The PhD thesis will be defended in English

The defense is public.
The thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, bldg. 1520, room 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 26.04.2018