DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax7983 ISSN:

Accelerating DNA computing via freeze-thaw cycling

Yun Zhu, Xiewei Xiong, Mengyao Cao, Li Li, Chunhai Fan, Hao Pei
  • Multidisciplinary

DNA computing harnesses the immense potential of DNA molecules to enable sophisticated and transformative computational processes but is hindered by low computing speed. Here, we propose freeze-thaw cycling as a simple yet powerful method for high-speed DNA computing without complex procedures. Through iterative cycles, we achieve a substantial 20-fold speed enhancement in basic strand displacement reactions. This acceleration arises from the utilization of eutectic ice phase as a medium, temporarily increasing the effective local concentration of molecules during each cycle. In addition, the acceleration effect follows the Hofmeister series, where kosmotropic anions such as sulfate (SO 4 2− ) reduce eutectic phase volume, leading to a more notable enhancement in strand displacement reaction rates. Leveraging this phenomenon, freeze-thaw cycling demonstrates its generalizability for high-speed DNA computing across various circuit sizes, achieving up to a remarkable 120-fold enhancement in reaction rates. We envision its potential to revolutionize molecular computing and expand computational applications in diverse fields.

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