Complex wireframe DNA origami nanostructures with multi-arm junction vertices


Structural DNA nanotechnology1,2,3,4 and the DNA origami technique5, in particular, have provided a range of spatially addressable two- and three-dimensional nanostructures6,7,8,9,10. These structures are, however, typically formed of tightly packed parallel helices5,6,7,8,9. The development of wireframe structures10,11 should allow the creation of novel designs with unique functionalities, but engineering complex wireframe architectures with arbitrarily designed connections between selected vertices in three-dimensional space remains a challenge. Here, we report a design strategy for fabricating finite-size wireframe DNA nanostructures with high complexity and programmability. In our approach, the vertices are represented by n × 4 multi-arm junctions (n = 2–10) with controlled angles, and the lines are represented by antiparallel DNA crossover tiles12 of variable lengths. Scaffold strands are used to integrate the vertices and lines into fully assembled structures displaying intricate architectures. To demonstrate the versatility of the technique, a series of two-dimensional designs including quasi-crystalline patterns and curvilinear arrays or variable curvatures, and three-dimensional designs including a complex snub cube and a reconfigurable Archimedean solid were constructed.

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Figure 1: Design principles.
Figure 2: Scaffold folding paths and representative AFM images for the simple Platonic tiling.
Figure 3: Scaffold folding path and representative AFM images for intricate 2D patterns.
Figure 4: 3D wireframe Archimedean solid structures.


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This research was partly supported by grants to H.Y. and Y.L. from the National Science Foundation (nos. 1360635 and 1334109), the Army Research Office (no. W911NF-12-1-0420) and the National Institutes of Health (no. R01GM104960). H.Y. was supported by the Presidential Strategic Initiative Fund from Arizona State University. The authors thank M. Madjidi for proofreading.

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H.Y., Y.L. and F.Z. conceived and designed the experiment. F.Z., S.J., S.W. and Y.L. performed the experiments. F.Z., S.J., S.W. and Y.L. analysed the data. All authors discussed the results. All authors contributed to the writing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yan Liu or Hao Yan.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Zhang, F., Jiang, S., Wu, S. et al. Complex wireframe DNA origami nanostructures with multi-arm junction vertices. Nature Nanotech 10, 779–784 (2015).

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