Synthetic polymers are ubiquitous in the modern world, but our ability to exert control over the molecular conformation of individual polymers is very limited. In particular, although the programmable self-assembly of oligonucleotides and proteins into artificial nanostructures has been demonstrated, we currently lack the tools to handle other types of synthetic polymers individually and thus the ability to utilize and study their single-molecule properties. Here we show that synthetic polymer wires containing short oligonucleotides that extend from each repeat can be made to assemble into arbitrary routings. The wires, which can be more than 200 nm in length, are soft and bendable, and the DNA strands allow individual polymers to self-assemble into predesigned routings on both two- and three-dimensional DNA origami templates. The polymers are conjugated and potentially conducting, and could therefore be used to create molecular-scale electronic or optical wires in arbitrary geometries.
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We thank P.W.K. Rothemund for discussions. This work was funded by the Danish National Research Foundation (Centre for DNA Nanotechnology, DNRF81), Sino-Danish Centre for Education and Research, Carlsberg Foundation, Danish Research Council (V.B.) (Sapere Aude Starting Grant (A.N.Z. and V.B.), STENO grant and an individual post-doctorate grant (R.O.)), Villum Foundation (Young Investigator Program (M.D.)), and the Lundbeck Foundation (A.N.Z). R.J. acknowledges support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through the Emmy Noether program (DFG JU 2957/1–1) and the Max Planck Society. W.M.S. acknowledges support for the contributions to his laboratory from the National Science Foundation (CCF-1317291), Army Research Office (W911NF-12-1-0420) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Knudsen, J., Liu, L., Bank Kodal, A. et al. Routing of individual polymers in designed patterns. Nature Nanotech 10, 892–898 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2015.190
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