Crossing origami nanorods

In this post for our Online Science Exhibition, PhD student Mihir Dass from The Liedl group at LMU exhibits “Crossing origami nanorods“.

The DNA origami ‘Cross’ consists of two bundles connected by a flexible linker (left). This flexible link gives the bundles the freedom to rotate relative to each other.

An image of the folded crosses, acquired using a transmission electron microscope. A model of the cross is shown in the inset.

How can we achieve dynamic sensing at the nanoscale? By placing sensing moieties at predefined positions, which can lock the cross into unique conformations in the presence of a target. These conformations can be detected through optical techniques.

Gold is an optically active material at the nanoscale. We can place nanorods made of gold on the bundles using hybridization of complementary DNA sequences on the nanorods and the bundles.

Crosses coupled to gold nanorods, observed using a transmission electron microscope. A model of the cross-nanorod hybrid is shown in the inset.

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