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Gene and Molecular Manipulation Using Electron Tunneling

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000036726D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Foster, JS: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a mechanism for altering molecular structures with the ability to manipulate extremely local areas (at the angstrom level) based on electron tunneling which can be used to alter genetic codes by splicing and reconnecting the bases which make up a strand of DNA.

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Gene and Molecular Manipulation Using Electron Tunneling

Disclosed is a mechanism for altering molecular structures with the ability to manipulate extremely local areas (at the angstrom level) based on electron tunneling which can be used to alter genetic codes by splicing and reconnecting the bases which make up a strand of DNA.

This mechanism utilizes a modified Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) which can image the native state of the molecules prepared on a suitable surface. The STM is subsequently used to chemically modify these molecules by physically moving molecules or fractions thereof to separate them and/or facilitate chemical reactions. Because of the inherent high resolution of the STM, this can be attempted at any desirable site along the molecules. This makes it possible, for instance, to emulate the job of restriction endonuclease which cuts a DNA molecule at specific sequences occurring at many sites along the DNA double helix. The disclosed method is even more powerful; it can cut the DNA between the above-mentioned specific sequence sites.

The modification of the STM comprises the following: The DC voltage bias between the tunneling tip and the sample substrate is modified to allow short- lasting (20 ns to 1 us) voltage pulses with a variable amplitude significantly above the normal STM imaging bias. The amplitude is chosen so that the tunneling electrons gather enough energy to inelastically collide with the organic molecules in the sample on...