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Hierarchical Assembly of DNA Filaments with Designer Elastic Properties

Wednesday (08.05.2019)
14:10 - 14:30
Part of:

The elastic features of protein filaments are encoded in their component units and in the way they are connected, thus defining a biunivocal relationship between the monomer and the result of its self-assembly. Using DNA origami approaches, we constructed a reconfigurable module, composed of two quasi-independent domains and four possible interfaces, capable of facial and lateral growing through specific recognition patterns. Whereas the flexibility of the intra-domains region can be regulated by switchable DNA motifs, the inter-domain interfaces feature mutually and self-complementary shapes, whose pairwise association leads to filaments of programmable periodicity and variable persistence length. Thus, we show here that the assembly pathway leading to oligomeric chains can be finely tuned and fully controlled, enabling the emulation of protein-like filaments using a single construction principle. Our approach results in artificial materials with a large variety of ultrastructures and bending strengths comparable, or even superior, to their natural counterparts.

Wolfgang Pfeifer
University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE)