A device that operates within a self-assembled 3D DNA crystal

Yudong Hao, Martin Kristiansen, Ruojie Sha, Jens J. Birktoft, Carina Hernandez, Chengde Mao, Nadrian C. Seeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Structural DNA nanotechnology finds applications in numerous areas, but the construction of objects, 2D and 3D crystalline lattices and devices is prominent among them. Each of these components has been developed individually, and most of them have been combined in pairs. However, to date there are no reports of independent devices contained within 3D crystals. Here we report a three-state 3D device whereby we change the colour of the crystals by diffusing strands that contain dyes in or out of the crystals through the mother-liquor component of the system. Each colouring strand is designed to pair with an extended triangle strand by Watson-Crick base pairing. The arm that contains the dyes is quite flexible, but it is possible to establish the presence of the duplex proximal to the triangle by X-ray crystallography. We modelled the transition between the red and blue states through a simple kinetic model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-827
Number of pages4
JournalNature chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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