2. Programmable self-assembly of building blocks via templated hybridization

Building blocks we define as operands of the hybridization and ligation operation. 

Hybridization can be conceived as a massively parallel sorting process whose outcome is an alignment of building blocks to be joined by ligation. The precision of sorting is limited by the free energy of binding – alternative building blocks have the same rank if they have the same free energy of binding. Consequently, limited precision causes variation of copies and enables selection and evolution in suitable processing tasks. 

The experiments will increase the complexity of the sorting process and place the hybridization process under electronic control via pH modulation and/or field induced concentration changes. We will start with complements where no ligation is required. We will then consecutively increase the number of building blocks, viz. the number of nicks to be closed by ligation. The ligation of longer sequences is utilizable because of pH-activated strand separation (see task 4).