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Design and Characterization of 1D Nanotubes and 2D Periodic Arrays Self-Assembled from DNA Multi-Helix Bundles

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journal contribution
posted on 25.01.2012, 00:00 by Tong Wang, Daniel Schiffels, Sergio Martinez Cuesta, Deborah Kuchnir Fygenson, Nadrian C. Seeman
Among the key goals of structural DNA nanotechnology are to build highly ordered structures self-assembled from individual DNA motifs in 1D, 2D, and finally 3D. All three of these goals have been achieved with a variety of motifs. Here, we report the design and characterization of 1D nanotubes and 2D arrays assembled from three novel DNA motifs, the 6-helix bundle (6HB), the 6-helix bundle flanked by two helices in the same plane (6HB+2), and the 6-helix bundle flanked by three helices in a trigonal arrangement (6HB+3). Long DNA nanotubes have been assembled from all three motifs. Such nanotubes are likely to have applications in structural DNA nanotechnology, so it is important to characterize their physical properties. Prominent among these are their rigidities, described by their persistence lengths, which we report here. We find large persistence lengths in all species, around 1–5 μm. The magnitudes of the persistence lengths are clearly related to the designs of the linkages between the unit motifs. Both the 6HB+2 and the 6HB+3 motifs have been successfully used to produce well-ordered 2D periodic arrays via sticky-ended cohesion.