Molecular self-assembly

Molecular self-assembly is the spontaneous association of molecules, through non covalent bonds and under equilibrium conditions, into stable, structurally well-defined aggregates.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    The building blocks of the nanostructures observed on Drosophila corneas are determined, and then used to create artificial nanostructures with anti-reflective and anti-adhesive properties.

    • Mikhail Kryuchkov
    • , Oleksii Bilousov
    • , Jannis Lehmann
    • , Manfred Fiebig
    •  & Vladimir L. Katanaev
    Nature 585, 383-389
  • Research
    | Open Access

    A single amyloid-forming protein or peptide can adopt many different fibrillar 3D structures, but this polymorphism is poorly understood. Here, detailed AFM imaging allows for the reconstruction of 3D models of individual fibrils which can be clustered on the basis of their individual structural properties.

    • Liam D. Aubrey
    • , Ben J. F. Blakeman
    • , Liisa Lutter
    • , Christopher J. Serpell
    • , Mick F. Tuite
    • , Louise C. Serpell
    •  & Wei-Feng Xue
  • Research |

    A DNA nanodevice vaccine has been developed and utilized to stimulate a tumour-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte response in vivo, leading to the inhibition of tumour growth as well as prevention of metastasis.

    • Shaoli Liu
    • , Qiao Jiang
    • , Xiao Zhao
    • , Ruifang Zhao
    • , Yuanning Wang
    • , Yiming Wang
    • , Jianbing Liu
    • , Yingxu Shang
    • , Shuai Zhao
    • , Tiantian Wu
    • , Yinlong Zhang
    • , Guangjun Nie
    •  & Baoquan Ding
  • Research |

    A six-helix bundle DNA structure called meta-DNA has now been assembled and shown to possess some structural properties similar to those of single-stranded DNA. Two meta-DNAs containing complementary ‘meta-base pairs’ are shown to form double helices. Meta-DNA building blocks are also used to construct a series of DNA architectures and to perform a hierarchical strand-displacement reaction.

    • Guangbao Yao
    • , Fei Zhang
    • , Fei Wang
    • , Tianhuan Peng
    • , Hao Liu
    • , Erik Poppleton
    • , Petr Šulc
    • , Shuoxing Jiang
    • , Lan Liu
    • , Chen Gong
    • , Xinxin Jing
    • , Xiaoguo Liu
    • , Lihua Wang
    • , Yan Liu
    • , Chunhai Fan
    •  & Hao Yan
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Directing the position, orientation, and long-range lateral order of block copolymer domains to produce technologically-useful, sublithographic patterns is a challenge. Here, the authors present a promising approach to overcome the challenge by directing assembly using spatial boundaries between planar, low-resolution regions on a surface with different composition.

    • Robert M. Jacobberger
    • , Vikram Thapar
    • , Guang-Peng Wu
    • , Tzu-Hsuan Chang
    • , Vivek Saraswat
    • , Austin J. Way
    • , Katherine R. Jinkins
    • , Zhenqiang Ma
    • , Paul F. Nealey
    • , Su-Mi Hur
    • , Shisheng Xiong
    •  & Michael S. Arnold
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Quintulene, a quintuple non-graphitic cycloarene, is challenging to synthesize. Here, the authors synthesize and characterize the cone-shaped extended quintulene and its bilayer dimer, and disclose its dimerization as an entropy-driven, second-order reaction with a substantial activation energy.

    • Hao Hou
    • , Xin-Jing Zhao
    • , Chun Tang
    • , Yang-Yang Ju
    • , Ze-Ying Deng
    • , Xin-Rong Wang
    • , Liu-Bin Feng
    • , Dong-Hai Lin
    • , Xu Hou
    • , Akimitsu Narita
    • , Klaus Müllen
    •  & Yuan-Zhi Tan

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Programmable DNA building blocks hosting diverse nano-objects assemble into three-dimensional nanoparticle lattices whose geometry is determined by the shape and valence of the DNA block.

    • Veikko Linko
    •  & Mauri A. Kostiainen
    Nature Materials 19, 706-707
  • Comments and Opinion |

    The complexity of DNA-programmed nanoparticle assemblies has reached an unprecedented level owing to recent advances that enable delicate and comprehensive control over the formation of DNA bonds.

    • Shuoxing Jiang
    • , Fei Zhang
    •  & Hao Yan
    Nature Materials 19, 694-700
  • News and Views |

    A balance between order and disorder provides living materials with just the right amount of disorder needed to sustain life. This feature is currently not found in synthetic materials. Now, a route to the production of composite membranes that are simultaneously stiff and reconfigurable upon contact has been developed.

    • Ankit Jain
    •  & Rein V. Ulijn
    Nature Chemistry 12, 428-429
  • News and Views |

    Fullerene–triethylene glycol monomers are shown to form self-assembled bilayers on Au with an exchangeable upper layer. These structures are as versatile as thiol-based self-assembled monolayers while showing enhanced robustness.

    • Ayelet Vilan
    Nature Materials 19, 262-263
  • News and Views |

    Frank–Kasper phases are topologically close-packed structures typically found in ordered mixtures of ‘hard particles’ such as metallic alloys. Now, a shape amphiphile has been shown to self-assemble into a Frank–Kasper Z phase, which had so far remained elusive in soft materials.

    • Abhiram Reddy
    •  & Gregory M. Grason
    Nature Chemistry 11, 865-867