Original Article

Subject Categories: Self-assembled Materials

Polymer Journal (2015) 47, 177–182; doi:10.1038/pj.2014.128; published online 17 December 2014

Encapsulation of a gold nanoparticle in a DNA origami container

Akinori Kuzuya1,2, Masafumi Kaino1, Mirai Hashizume1, Kazuki Matsumoto1, Takeaki Uehara1, Yasutaka Matsuo3, Hideyuki Mitomo3, Kenichi Niikura3, Kuniharu Ijiro3 and Yuichi Ohya1

  1. 1Department of Chemistry and Materials Engineering, Kansai University, Suita, Osaka, Japan
  2. 2PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Kawaguchi, Saitama, Japan
  3. 3Research Institute for Electronic Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-Ward, Sapporo, Japan

Correspondence: Dr A Kuzuya or Professor Y Ohya, Department of Chemistry and Materials Engineering, Kansai University, 3-3-35 Yamate, Suita, Osaka 564-8680, Japan. E-mail: kuzuya@kansai-u.ac.jp or yohya@kansai-u.ac.jp

Received 30 July 2014; Revised 6 November 2014; Accepted 18 November 2014
Advance online publication 17 December 2014



A ‘box-shaped’ three-dimensional (3D) DNA origami of ~40-nm dimensions was selectively formed by closing a symmetric open motif with three orthogonal faces. This 3D DNA origami was used as an intelligent nano-container to encapsulate exactly one 10-nm gold nanoparticle (AuNP). AuNPs were functionalized with thiol-modified DNA strands and attached to one of the faces of the open motif, which was designed to be an interior surface of the box and decorated with three complementary strands. The open motif was then closed into the box shape as triggered by the addition of DNA strands joining the remaining edges. An examination of the suitable folding path of an M13 scaffold using fluorescently labeled staple strands revealed that the flexibility at the hinge was essential for the efficient closing of the DNA origami container. Atomic force microscope and transmission electron microscope imaging of agarose-gel-purified complexes clearly showed the successful encapsulation of one AuNP inside the shell.