Self-Assembling 3D Nanostructures
Building a box on the macroscale is relatively straightforward, but it is much more challenging at smaller micro and nanometer length scales. 3D structures are too small to be assembled by any machine and they must be guided to assemble on their own. Interdisciplinary research by engineers at Johns Hopkins University and mathematicians at Brown University has led to a breakthrough showing that higher order polyhedra can indeed fold up and assemble themselves. With support from the National Science Foundation, Brown University mathematician Govind Menon and Johns Hopkins University chemical and biomolecular engineer David Gracias are developing self-assembling 3D micro and nanostructures which can be used in many applications, including medicine.