Controlled assembly of dendrimer-like DNA


DNA possesses many desirable chemical/physical properties as a polymeric material. With the myriad of tools available to manipulate DNA1, there is great potential for using DNA as a generic instead of a genetic material. Although much progress has been made in DNA computing2,3,4 and DNA nanotechnology5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19, the full achievement of DNA-based materials has not yet been realized. As almost all DNA molecules are either linear or circular, to rationally construct DNA materials one must first create additional shapes of DNA as basic building blocks. In addition, these DNA building blocks must be readily incorporated into larger structures in a controlled manner. Here, we show the controlled assembly of dendrimer-like DNA (DL-DNA) from Y-shaped DNA (Y-DNA). The synthesis of Y-DNA and controlled assembly of DL-DNA were robust and efficient; the resulting DL-DNA was stable and almost monodisperse. The multivalent DNA dendrimers can be either isotropic or anisotropic, providing great potential to link other entities.

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Figure 1: Y-shaped DNA (Y-DNA).
Figure 2: The first-generation dendrimer-like DNA (G1 DL-DNA).
Figure 3: Higher generation dendrimer-like DNA.


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This work was partially supported by the Cornell University's Innovation Grant administrated by Cornell Advanced Center for Biotechnology, and performed in part at the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility and Cornell Centre for Materials Research, which is supported by the National Science Foundation, Cornell University and Industrial Affiliates. We thank Francis Moran for preparation of Fig. 1b.

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Correspondence to Dan Luo.

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