Research ArticleChemistry

DNA-assembled nanoarchitectures with multiple components in regulated and coordinated motion

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Science Advances  29 Nov 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 11, eaax6023
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax6023


Coordinating functional parts to operate in concert is essential for machinery. In gear trains, meshed gears are compactly interlocked, working together to impose rotation or translation. In photosynthetic systems, a variety of biological entities in the thylakoid membrane interact with each other, converting light energy into chemical energy. However, coordinating individual parts to carry out regulated and coordinated motion within an artificial nanoarchitecture poses challenges, owing to the requisite control on the nanoscale. Here, we demonstrate DNA-directed nanosystems, which comprise hierarchically-assembled DNA origami filaments, fluorophores, and gold nanocrystals. These individual building blocks can execute independent, synchronous, or joint motion upon external inputs. These are optically monitored in situ using fluorescence spectroscopy, taking advantage of the sensitive distance-dependent interactions between the gold nanocrystals and fluorophores positioned on the DNA origami. Our work leverages the complexity of DNA-based artificial nanosystems with tailored dynamic functionality, representing a viable route towards technomimetic nanomachinery.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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