Functional DNA Nanotechnology: Precise Spatial and Dynamic Controls of Nanomaterials Assembly and its Applications in Sensing and Medicine
Genetic control of the assembly of complex biological structures in response to internal chemical or biological stimuli has been one of the hallmarks of biology. DNA has been shown to be highly programmable molecules resulting in a number of 2D and 3D nanostructures.
Despite the promise, functionalizing these structures has been challenging. We have developed a novel method of using phosphorothioate DNA as anchors, and a bifunctional linker as a rigid molecular fastener that can connect nanoparticles to specific locations on the DNA backbone:
- Precise distance controls between two nanoparticles or proteins with nanometer resolution have been demonstrated. Furthermore, discovery of the genetic code is one of the most important achievements in biology. Inspired by this pioneering work, we have reported discovery of DNA codes for fine control of the shape and morphology of nanomaterials.
- Rules of shape control by difference DNAs and their combinations are summarized. These new DNA codes can play an important role in rational design and synthesis of novel nanomaterials with predictive shape control. Finally, while much work has been devoted to nanoscale assembly on surfaces, selective reversible assembly of components in the nanoscale pattern at selective sites has received much less attention. By taking advantage of different binding affinities of biotin and desthiobiotin toward streptavidin, we have demonstrated selective and reversible decoration of DNA origami tiles with streptavidin, including revealing an encrypted Morse code “NANO”.
- We expect this versatile conjugation technique to be widely applicable with different nanomaterials and templates.