CNS Core: Medium: Thermodynamically-Driven Design of High Capacity, Practical DNA-Based Data Storage Systems
Albert J. Keung
Project runs from 10/01/2019 to 09/30/2023
Digital information is being generated in excess of 1 zettabyte (1021 bytes) per year worldwide. Existing information storage technologies are reaching major limitations in keeping pace. These limitations include unsustainable increases in the demand for: information capacity, physical storage space, raw materials, and energy to cool and maintain storage systems. DNA, a natural medium of information storage in biological systems, has garnered excitement and attention from both academic and industry groups as a potential next generation storage technology. DNA offers several advantages including a raw capacity of 1 zettabyte per 1 cubic centimeter. In comparison, state of the art electronic storage media would require 1000 cubic meters to store the same information. DNA also exhibits exceptional stability with a half-life of over a hundred years at ambient temperatures and requires minimal energy to maintain. Thus, DNA could be a transformative information storage medium. This project considers the design of a DNA-based data storage system from a thermodynamics perspective, allowing us to fine-tune interactions between DNA strands to achieve high capacity, random access, and search.