Three-dimensional molecular and nanoparticle crystallization by DNA nanotechnology

Nadrian C. Seeman, Oleg Gang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Structural DNA nanotechnology has been particularly driven toward three-dimensional (3D) construction since its inception at the start of the 1980s. Part of the driving force was the goal of building specific crystals from macromolecular components, without having to use trial and error for determining appropriate crystallization conditions. With the first demonstration of DNA attachment to gold nanoparticles in the 1990s, DNA became a player in inorganic nanomaterials as a programmable agent for structure assembly. For pure DNA structures, the crystallization goal has been mediated by sticky-ended cohesion with some success, although trial and error crystallizations have produced better diffracting crystals than those directed self-assembly. For nanoparticles, different types of 3D nanoscale crystalline organizations have been realized. Recent efforts not only expand the diversity of particle lattices, but also strive to achieve designed lattice symmetries and their transformations. In this article, we review the development of 3D assembly of DNA and DNA-guided nanoparticle arrays, the issues that have prevented and facilitated formation of such structures, and recent strategies toward this goal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-912
Number of pages9
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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