Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Self-assembly of 3-D structures using 2-D folding tiles

Abstract : Self-assembly is a process which is ubiquitous in natural, especially biological systems. It occurs when groups of relatively simple components spontaneously combine to form more complex structures. While such systems have inspired a large amount of research into designing theoretical models of self-assembling systems, and even laboratory-based implementations of them, these artificial models and systems often tend to be lacking in one of the powerful features of natural systems (e.g. the assembly and folding of proteins), which is dynamic reconfigurability of structures. In this paper, we present a new mathematical model of self-assembly, based on the abstract Tile Assembly Model (aTAM), called the Flexible Tile Assembly Model (FTAM). In the FTAM, the individual components are 2-dimensional tiles as in the aTAM, but in the FTAM, bonds between the edges of tiles can be flexible, allowing bonds to flex and entire structures to reconfigure, thus allowing 2-dimensional components to form 3-dimensional structures. We analyze the powers and limitations of FTAM systems by (1) demonstrating how flexibility can be controlled to carefully build desired structures, and (2) showing how flexibility can be beneficially harnessed to form structures which can “efficiently” reconfigure into many different configurations and/or greatly varying configurations. We also show that with such power comes a heavy burden in terms of computational complexity of simulation and prediction by proving that for important properties of FTAM systems, determining their existence is intractable, even for properties which are easily computed for systems in less dynamic models.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Jérôme Durand-Lose <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 12:30:25 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 2, 2020 - 10:54:20 AM

Links full text



Jérôme Durand-Lose, Jacob Hendricks, Matthew Patitz, Ian Perkins, Michael Sharp. Self-assembly of 3-D structures using 2-D folding tiles. Natural Computing, Springer Verlag, 2020, 19 (2), pp.337-355. ⟨10.1007/s11047-019-09751-9⟩. ⟨hal-02178978⟩



Record views