Switchable self-protected attractions in DNA-functionalized colloids

Mirjam E. Leunissen, Rémi Dreyfus, Fook Chiong Cheong, David G. Grier, Roujie Sha, Nadrian Seeman, Paul M. Chaikin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Surface functionalization with DNA is a powerful tool for guiding the self-assembly of nanometre- and micrometre-sized particles. Complementary sticky ends form specific inter-particle links and reproducibly bind at low temperature and unbind at high temperature. Surprisingly, the ability of single-stranded DNA to form folded secondary structures has not been explored for controlling (nano) colloidal assembly processes, despite its frequent use in DNA nanotechnology. Here, we show how loop and hairpin formation in the DNA coatings of micrometre-sized particles gives us in situ control over the inter-particle binding strength and association kinetics. We can finely tune and even switch off the attractions between particles, rendering them inert unless they are heated or held togetherlike a nano-contact glue. The novel kinetic control offered by the switchable self-protected attractions is explained with a simple quantitative model that emphasizes the competition between intra- and inter-particle hybridization, and the practical utility is demonstrated by the assembly of designer clusters in concentrated suspensions. With self-protection, both the suspension and assembly product are stable, whereas conventional attractive colloids would quickly aggregate. This remarkable functionality makes our self-protected colloids a novel material that greatly extends the utility of DNA-functionalized systems, enabling more versatile, multi-stage assembly approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-595
Number of pages6
JournalNature Materials
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Fingerprint

Colloids
attraction
colloids
DNA
deoxyribonucleic acid
assembly
Suspensions
Kinetics
Glues
Single-Stranded DNA
micrometers
Nanotechnology
Self assembly
Switches
glues
Coatings
kinetics
Temperature
nanotechnology
self assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this

Leunissen, M. E., Dreyfus, R., Cheong, F. C., Grier, D. G., Sha, R., Seeman, N., & Chaikin, P. M. (2009). Switchable self-protected attractions in DNA-functionalized colloids. Nature Materials, 8(7), 590-595. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat2471

Switchable self-protected attractions in DNA-functionalized colloids. / Leunissen, Mirjam E.; Dreyfus, Rémi; Cheong, Fook Chiong; Grier, David G.; Sha, Roujie; Seeman, Nadrian; Chaikin, Paul M.

In: Nature Materials, Vol. 8, No. 7, 07.2009, p. 590-595.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Leunissen, ME, Dreyfus, R, Cheong, FC, Grier, DG, Sha, R, Seeman, N & Chaikin, PM 2009, 'Switchable self-protected attractions in DNA-functionalized colloids', Nature Materials, vol. 8, no. 7, pp. 590-595. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat2471
Leunissen ME, Dreyfus R, Cheong FC, Grier DG, Sha R, Seeman N et al. Switchable self-protected attractions in DNA-functionalized colloids. Nature Materials. 2009 Jul;8(7):590-595. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat2471
Leunissen, Mirjam E. ; Dreyfus, Rémi ; Cheong, Fook Chiong ; Grier, David G. ; Sha, Roujie ; Seeman, Nadrian ; Chaikin, Paul M. / Switchable self-protected attractions in DNA-functionalized colloids. In: Nature Materials. 2009 ; Vol. 8, No. 7. pp. 590-595.
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