In-silico design of computational nucleic acids for molecular information processing

E. Ramlan, Klaus Peter Zauner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Within recent years nucleic acids have become a focus of interest for prototype implementations of molecular computing concepts. During the same period the importance of ribonucleic acids as components of the regulatory networks within living cells has increasingly been revealed. Molecular computers are attractive due to their ability to function within a biological system; an application area extraneous to the present information technology paradigm. The existence of natural information processing architectures (predominately exemplified by protein) demonstrates that computing based on physical substrates that are radically different from silicon is feasible. Two key principles underlie molecular level information processing in organisms: conformational dynamics of macromolecules and self-assembly of macromolecules. Nucleic acids support both principles, and moreover computational design of these molecules is practicable. This study demonstrates the simplicity with which one can construct a set of nucleic acid computing units using a new computational protocol. With the new protocol, diverse classes of nucleic acids imitating the complete set of boolean logical operators were constructed. These nucleic acid classes display favourable thermodynamic properties and are significantly similar to the approximation of successful candidates implemented in the laboratory. This new protocol would enable the construction of a network of interconnecting nucleic acids (as a circuit) for molecular information processing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalJournal of Cheminformatics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 7 May 2013


  • Functional nucleic acids
  • Molecular logic gates
  • Nucleic acids computer
  • Ribozymes


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