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DNA-controlled assembly of a NaTl lattice structure from gold nanoparticles and protein nanoparticles


The formation of diamond structures from tailorable building blocks is an important goal in colloidal crystallization because the non-compact diamond lattice is an essential component of photonic crystals for the visible-light range1,2,3,4,5,6,7. However, designing nanoparticle systems that self-assemble into non-compact structures has proved difficult. Although several methods have been proposed7,8,9,10, single-component nanoparticle assembly of a diamond structure has not been reported. Binary systems, in which at least one component is arranged in a diamond lattice, provide alternatives7,11,12, but control of interparticle interactions is critical to this approach. DNA has been used for this purpose in a number of systems13,14,15,16,17,18. Here we show the creation of a non-compact lattice by DNA-programmed crystallization using surface-modified Qβ phage capsid particles and gold nanoparticles, engineered to have similar effective radii. When combined with the proper connecting oligonucleotides, these components form NaTl-type colloidal crystalline structures containing interpenetrating organic and inorganic diamond lattices, as determined by small-angle X-ray scattering. DNA control of assembly is therefore shown to be compatible with particles possessing very different properties, as long as they are amenable to surface modification.

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Figure 1: DNA-programmable nanoparticle crystallization method.
Figure 2: Formation of a NaTl structure and theoretical scattering pattern.
Figure 3: Formation of VLP and AuNPs.
Figure 4: Assembly of a NaTl alloy structure using DNA-linked AuNPs and DNA-linked VLPs.


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S.Y.P. was supported by NIH grant AI083115; P.C. and M.G.F. were supported by NIH grant RR021886, the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology and the W.M. Keck Foundation; A.K.R.L-J. and D.G.A. were supported by a grant from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and the NIH DE016516. S.Y.P. thanks B. Lee, S. Weigand, S. Dewhurst, R. Langer, M. Rho, O. Lee, G. C. Schatz, G. Oberdörster and C. A. Mirkin for useful discussions. These studies benefited from the use of the APS at the Argonne National Laboratory supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

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Authors and Affiliations



P.C., A.K.R.L-J., D.G.A. and M.G.F. were responsible for the synthetic components of the project. P.C. and M.G.F. designed the structure of DNA-linked virus capsids. A.K.R.L-J. and S.Y.P. designed DNA-linked nanoparticles and the DNA sequences. S.Y.P. was responsible for the theoretical components and the overall experimental design of the project. S.Y.P. carried out SAXS experiments and analysed the SAXS data. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to M. G. Finn or Sung Yong Park.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Cigler, P., Lytton-Jean, A., Anderson, D. et al. DNA-controlled assembly of a NaTl lattice structure from gold nanoparticles and protein nanoparticles. Nature Mater 9, 918–922 (2010).

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