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Unlike supramolecular self-assembly methods that can organize many distinct components into designer shapes in a homogeneous solution (e.g., DNA origami), only relatively simple, symmetric structures consisting of a few distinct components have been self-assembled at solid surfaces. As the self-assembly process is confined to the surface/interface by mostly nonspecific attractive interactions, an open question is how these interfacial interactions affect multicomponent self-assembly. To gain a mechanistic understanding of the roles of surface environment in DNA origami self-assembly, here we studied the oligonucleotide-assisted folding of a long single-stranded DNA (ssDNA scaffold) that was end-tethered to a dynamic surface, which could actively regulate the DNA-surface interactions. The results showed that even weak surface attractions can lead to defective structures by inhibiting the merging of multiple domains into complete structures. A combination of surface anchoring and deliberate regulation of DNA-surface interactions allowed us to depart from the existing paradigm of surface confinement via nonspecific interactions and enabled DNA origami folding to proceed in a solution-like environment. Importantly, our strategy retains the key advantages of surface-mediated self-assembly. Moreover, surface-anchored oligonucleotides could sequence-specifically initiate the growth of DNA origamis of specific sizes and shapes. Our work enables information to be encoded into a surface and expressed into complex DNA surface architectures for potential nanoelectronics and nanophotonics applications. In addition, our approach to surface confinement may facilitate the 2D self-assembly of other molecular components, such as proteins, as maintaining conformational freedom may be a general challenge in the self-assembly of complex structures at surfaces.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: ACS nano
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A replica technique in which cells are frozen to a very low temperature and cracked with a knife blade to expose the interior surfaces of the cells or cell membranes. The cracked cell surfaces are then freeze-dried to expose their constituents. The surfaces are now ready for shadowing to be viewed using an electron microscope. This method differs from freeze-fracturing in that no cryoprotectant is used and, thus, allows for the sublimation of water during the freeze-drying process to etch the surfaces.
Joining metal pieces or parts together by melting the adjoining surfaces with heat, using a heat source such as a blowtorch or electric arc. The melted surfaces are then pressed together by hammering.
A histone chaperone that facilitates nucleosome assembly by mediating the formation of the histone octamer and its transfer to DNA.
A family of cellular proteins that mediate the correct assembly or disassembly of polypeptides and their associated ligands. Although they take part in the assembly process, molecular chaperones are not components of the final structures.
A subclass of clathrin assembly proteins that occur as monomers.
Bioinformatics is the application of computer software and hardware to the management of biological data to create useful information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied...