Judging by the number of atoms and the precision with which they are organized in three-dimensional space, DNA origami assemblies represent the current acme of human molecular engineering accomplishments. A subset of structural DNA nanotechnology, DNA origami makes use of the programmable molecular recognition of complementary DNA cohesions to assemble designed structures. This review will discuss the development of concepts and methods involved in DNA origami with an eye toward future increases in origami size and sequence complexity, as well as exploring different methods for the production of the DNA molecular components (long biologically synthesized scaffold strands and the complex set of chemically synthesized staple strands). In future applications, the incorporation and organization of other materials (metals and other inorganics, protein enzymes, and other nanomaterials) upon or within DNA origami should result in tools for “bottom-up” nanofabrication of biomedical, electronic, and photonic devices and materials. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2013, 5:150–162. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1204

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