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Templated Synthesis of DNA Nanotubes with Controlled, Predetermined Lengths

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journal contribution
posted on 04.08.2010, 00:00 authored by Pik Kwan Lo, Florian Altvater, Hanadi F. Sleiman
We report a DNA-templated approach to construct nanotubes with controlled lengths and narrow molecular weight distribution, allowing the deliberate variation of this length. This approach relies on the facile and modular assembly of a DNA guide strand of precise length that contains single-stranded gaps repeating at every 50 nm. This is followed by positioning triangular DNA “rungs” on each of these single-stranded gaps and adding identical linking strands to the two other sides of the triangles to close the DNA nanotubes. The length of the guide strand can be deliberately changed. We show the use of this approach to produce nanotubes with lengths of 1 μm or 500 nm and narrow length distributions. This is in contrast to nontemplated approaches, which lead to long and polydisperse nanotubes. We also demonstrate the encapsulation of 20 nm gold nanoparticles within these well-defined nanotubes to form finite lines of gold nanoparticles with longitudinal plasmon coupling, with a number of potential nanophotonic applications. This guiding strand approach is a useful tool in the creation of DNA nanostructures, in this case allowing the use of a simple template generated by a minimal number of DNA strands to program the length and molecular weight distribution of assemblies, as well as to organize any number of DNA-labeled nano-objects into finite structures.

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