Letter abstract


Nature Nanotechnology 3, 93 - 96 (2008)
Published online: 3 February 2008 | doi:10.1038/nnano.2008.3

Subject Categories: Molecular machines and motors | Nanobiotechnology

Reconfigurable, braced, three-dimensional DNA nanostructures

Russell P. Goodman1, Mike Heilemann1,2, Sören Doose1,2, Christoph M. Erben1, Achillefs N. Kapanidis1 & Andrew J. Turberfield1


DNA nanotechnology makes use of the exquisite self-recognition of DNA in order to build on a molecular scale1. Although static structures may find applications in structural biology2, 3, 4 and computer science5, many applications in nanomedicine and nanorobotics require the additional capacity for controlled three-dimensional movement6. DNA architectures can span three dimensions4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and DNA devices are capable of movement10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, but active control of well-defined three-dimensional structures has not been achieved. We demonstrate the operation of reconfigurable DNA tetrahedra whose shapes change precisely and reversibly in response to specific molecular signals. Shape changes are confirmed by gel electrophoresis and by bulk and single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer measurements. DNA tetrahedra are natural building blocks for three-dimensional construction9; they may be synthesized rapidly with high yield of a single stereoisomer, and their triangulated architecture conveys structural stability. The introduction of shape-changing structural modules opens new avenues for the manipulation of matter on the nanometre scale.

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  1. University of Oxford, Department of Physics, Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PU, UK
  2. Present address: Applied Laser Physics and Laser Spectroscopy, University of Bielefeld, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany

Correspondence to: Andrew J. Turberfield1 e-mail: a.turberfield@physics.ox.ac.uk



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