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DNA is a compelling alternative to non-volatile information storage technologies due to its information density, stability, and energy efficiency. Previous studies have used artificially synthesized DNA to store data and automated next-generation sequencing to read it back. Here, we report digital Nucleic Acid Memory (dNAM) for applications that require a limited amount of data to have high information density, redundancy, and copy number. In dNAM, data is encoded by selecting combinations of single-stranded DNA with (1) or without (0) docking-site domains. When self-assembled with scaffold DNA, staple strands form DNA origami breadboards. Information encoded into the breadboards is read by monitoring the binding of fluorescent imager probes using DNA-PAINT super-resolution microscopy. To enhance data retention, a multi-layer error correction scheme that combines fountain and bi-level parity codes is used. As a prototype, fifteen origami encoded with ‘Data is in our DNA!\n’ are analyzed. Each origami encodes unique data-droplet, index, orientation, and error-correction information. The error-correction algorithms fully recover the message when individual docking sites, or entire origami, are missing. Unlike other approaches to DNA-based data storage, reading dNAM does not require sequencing. As such, it offers an additional path to explore the advantages and disadvantages of DNA as an emerging memory material.


These authors contributed equally: George D. Dickinson, Golam Md Mortuza, William Clay, Luca Piantanida.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.