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J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Dec 22;126(50):16344-52.

Design and characterization of programmable DNA nanotubes.

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Department of Computer Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Feb 20;135(7):2864.


DNA self-assembly provides a programmable bottom-up approach for the synthesis of complex structures from nanoscale components. Although nanotubes are a fundamental form encountered in tile-based DNA self-assembly, the factors governing tube structure remain poorly understood. Here we report and characterize a new type of nanotube made from DNA double-crossover molecules (DAE-E tiles). Unmodified tubes range from 7 to 20 nm in diameter (4 to 10 tiles in circumference), grow as long as 50 microm with a persistence length of approximately 4 microm, and can be programmed to display a variety of patterns. A survey of modifications (1) confirms the importance of sticky-end stacking, (2) confirms the identity of the inside and outside faces of the tubes, and (3) identifies features of the tiles that profoundly affect the size and morphology of the tubes. Supported by these results, nanotube structure is explained by a simple model based on the geometry and energetics of B-form DNA.

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