A mathematical formulation of DNA computation

Mingjun Zhang, Maggie X. Cheng, Tzyh Jong Tarn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


DNA computation is to use DNA molecules for information storing and processing. The task is accomplished by encoding and interpreting DNA molecules in suspended solutions before and after the complementary binding reactions. DNA computation is attractive, due to its fast parallel information processing, remarkable energy efficiency, and high storing capacity. Challenges currently faced by DNA computation are: 1) lack of theoretical computational models for applications and 2) high error rate for implementation. This paper attempts to address these problems from mathematical modeling and genetic coding aspects. The first part of this paper presents a mathematical formulation of DNA computation. The model may serve as a theoretical framework for DNA computation. In the second part, a genetic code based DNA computation approach is presented to reduce error rate for implementation, which has been a major concern for DNA computation. The method provides a promising alternative to reduce error rate for DNA computation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • DNA computation
  • Error rate
  • Genetic code
  • Mathematical formulation


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