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DNA brick crystals with prescribed depths

Abstract

The ability to assemble functional materials with precise spatial arrangements is important for applications ranging from protein crystallography to photovoltaics. Here, we describe a general framework for constructing two-dimensional crystals with prescribed depths and sophisticated three-dimensional features. The crystals are self-assembled from single-stranded DNA components called DNA bricks. We demonstrate the experimental construction of DNA brick crystals that can grow to micrometre size in their lateral dimensions with precisely controlled depths up to 80 nm. They can be designed to pack DNA helices at angles parallel or perpendicular to the plane of the crystal and to display user-specified sophisticated three-dimensional nanoscale features, such as continuous or discontinuous cavities and channels.

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Figure 1: Design of DNA brick crystals.
Figure 2: One-dimensional DNA crystals.
Figure 3: Two-dimensional multilayer ZX-crystals.
Figure 4: Two-dimensional DNA forest XY-crystals.
Figure 5: Isothermal assembly of brick crystals.
Figure 6: Gold nanoparticles patterned using DNA brick crystals.

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Acknowledgements

This work is supported by ONR Young Investigator Program Award N000141110914, ONR Grants N000141010827, N000141410610 and N000141310593, ARO Grant W911NF1210238, NSF CAREER Award CCF1054898, NSF Expedition in Computing Award CCF1317291, NSF Grants CCF1162459, CMMI1333215, CMMI1334109 and CMMI1344915, NIH Director's New Innovator Award 1DP2OD007292 and a Wyss Institute Faculty Startup Fund to P.Y., and by a Wyss Institute Faculty Grant, ARO MURI grant W911NF1210420, ONR Grants N000014091118 and N000141010241 and NIH Director's New Innovator Award 1DP2OD004641 to W.M.S. L.L.O. is supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. J.S. acknowledges AUFF funding from Aarhus University and the Niels Bohr Foundation from The Royal Danish Academy of Science. M.D. acknowledges financial support from the Danish National Research Foundation and the Villum Foundation.

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Y.K., L.L.O. and W.S. made equal contributions to this work. Y.K. conceived the project, designed and performed the experiments, analysed the data and wrote the paper. L.L.O. and W.S. designed and performed the experiments, analysed the data and wrote the paper. J.S. and M.D. performed the cryo-EM and AFM experiments, analysed the data and wrote the paper. W.M.S discussed the results and wrote the paper. P.Y. conceived, designed and supervised the study, interpreted the data and wrote the paper.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Yonggang Ke or Peng Yin.

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A provisional US patent application based on the work described in this manuscript has been filed.

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Ke, Y., Ong, L., Sun, W. et al. DNA brick crystals with prescribed depths. Nature Chem 6, 994–1002 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2083

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