Brief Bio

  • -Director, NanoSpark, NanoCore at NUS & Programme Manager of the NUS PhD-MBA
  • -PhD Physics, Oxford University, UK (Rhodes Scholarship)


  • dan.lubrich[at]gmail.com

    Professional Interests

  • -Technology Entrepreneurship
  • -Molecular Computing
  • -Nano and Micro-robotics
  • -DNA nanotechnology

    Past and Present Collaborators

  • -Jie Lin, PhD student, NUS
  • -Yvonne Klapper, undergrad researcher, now doing a PhD at KIT, Germany
  • -Ishan Gupta, undergrad researcher, now doing a PhD at MIT, USA
  • -Naveen Sinha, undergrad researcher, now doing a PhD at Harvard University, USA
  • -Laiyi Lin, undergrad researcher, now doing a PhD at NUS
  • -Timmy Ng, undergrad researcher, now fulfilling scholarship bond by teaching physics
  • -Dieter Trau, Assistant Professor at NUS
  • -Sebastian Beyer, PhD student, NUS
  • -Simon Green, PhD student at Oxford, now a crime researcher in London, UK
  • -Jonathan Bath, PostDoctoral Researcher at Oxford University, UK
  • -Andrew Turberfield, Professor at Oxford University, UK
  • -Thorsten Wohland, Associate Professor at NUS


    DNA Barcodes for Multiplexed Bio-Analytics

    Gupta I, Lubrich D (2013).

    In Preparation.

    Surface Bound Micro-Enclosures for Biomolecules

    Lin L, Beyer S, Wohland T, Trau D, Lubrich D (2010). Angewandte Chemie Intl. Ed. 49: 9773+.

    It's a trap! A simple process based on reverse-phase layer-by-layer encapsulation can be used to produce surface-bound semipermeable microenclosures that can trap biomolecules. Biomolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins can be encapsulated whilst preserving their functionality. Electrophoresis can be used to create sharp concentration gradients, and enzymatic reactions such as DNA digestion can be controlled by diffusion of ions into the microenclosures.

    A rotational DNA nanomotor driven by an externally controlled electric field

    Klapper Y, Sinha N, Ng WST, Lubrich D (2010). Small 6: 44+.

    Continuous rotation of DNA around its phosphate backbone is achieved with a simple nanomotor, which is driven by an electric field oscillated between four orientations. The motor consists of a DNA rotor and a partially single-stranded DNA axle held between a surface and a magnetic bead. Rotation is caused by realignment of the rotor DNA with the oscillated electric field.

    Kinetically Controlled Self-Assembly of DNA Oligomers

    Lubrich D, Green S, Turberfield A (2009). Journal of the American Chemical Society 131: 2422+.

    Metastable two-stranded DNA loops can be assembled into extended DNA oligomers by kinetically controlled self-assembly. Along the designed reaction pathway, the sequence of hybridization reactions is controlled by progressively revealing toeholds required to initiate strand-displacement reactions. The product length depends inversely on seed concentration and ranges from a few hundred to several thousand base-pairs.

    A Contractile DNA Machine

    Lubrich D, Lin J, Yan J (2008). Angewandte Chemie Intl. Ed. 47: 7026+.

    Machine tool: A molecular machine built from DNA utilizes the cooperative actions of many molecular tweezers units to achieve larger-scale movements. The device is able to contract to 75 % of its fully extended length, is driven by a set of two fuel strands, and can be cycled.

    Templated self-assembly of wedge-shaped DNA arrays

    Lubrich D, Bath JN, Turberfield AJ (2008). Tetrahedron 64: 8530+.

    We demonstrate the use of a one-dimensional template to control the shape of a two-dimensional array self-assembled from a minimal set of DNA tiles. A periodic single-stranded template seeds tile assembly. A unique vertex tile at the 5' end of the template controls the positioning of edge and body tiles to create a wedge-shaped array. The vertex angle of the array is approximately 12 degrees, edge lengths are of the order of 1 micro-meter.

    DNA hairpins: Fuel for autonomous DNA devices

    Green S, Lubrich D, Turberfield A (2006). Biophysical Journal 91: 2966+.

    We present a study of the hybridization of complementary DNA hairpin loops, with particular reference to their use as fuel for autonomous DNA devices. The rate of spontaneous hybridization between complementary hairpins can be reduced by increasing the neck length or decreasing the loop length. Hairpins with larger loops rapidly form long-lived kissed complexes. Hairpin loops may be opened by strand displacement using an opening strand that contains the same sequence as half of the neck and a toehold complementary to a single-stranded domain adjacent to the neck. We find loop opening via an external toehold to be 10 to 100 times faster than via an internal toehold. We measure rates of loop opening by opening strands that are at least 1000 times faster than the spontaneous interaction between hairpins. We discuss suitable choices for loop, neck, and toehold length for hairpin loops to be used as fuel for autonomous DNA devices.

    Design and assembly of double-crossover linear arrays of micrometre length using rolling circle replication

    Lubrich D, Bath JN, Turberfield AJ (2005). Nanotechnology 16: 1574+.

    We demonstrate the use of rolling circle replication to template linear DNA arrays whose sizes bridge the gap between nanometre-scale self-assembly and top-down lithographic fabrication. Using rolling circle replication we have produced an oligonucleotide containing several hundred repeats of a short sequence motif. On this template we have constructed, by self-assembly, an array consisting of two parallel duplexes periodically linked by antiparallel Holliday junctions. We have observed arrays up to 10 micro-meters in length by atomic force microscopy.

  • Nano-sized picture of Dan Lubrich