Book of Abstracts: Albany 2011

category image Albany 2011
Conversation 17
June 14-18 2011
©Adenine Press (2010)

Programming Curvature in DNA Nanotubes

Organizing materials at the nanoscale with high precision is of great interest for many applications, ranging from electronics to optics and biophysics (1). As one of the most programmable self-assembling materials, DNA is an excellent building block to template this fine organization. We have recently reported the construction of DNA nanotubes with the ability to readily program geometry, length, single- or double-stranded character, and the ability to encapsulate and selectively release materials within these structures (2-4).

Here, we report our progress towards higher-order control over these nanotubes. They are built in a modular fashion; by making localized structural alterations to individual components, we examine how these structural changes can be amplified into long-range motion throughout the final tube. As an example, we present curved DNA nanotubes in which the degree and occurrence of curvature is under external control: pH, light, and externally added biomolecules are used as triggers to effect these changes. These assemblies could find applications as biophysical tools, molecular machines, and dynamic templates for nanocircuitry.


  1. G. Cao. Synthesis, Properties and Applications; Imperial College: London, 110 (2004).
  2. P.K. Lo, P. Karam, F.A. Aldaye, C.K. McLaughlin, G.D. Hamblin, G. Cosa and H.F. Sleiman. Nature Chemistry 2, 319-328 (2010).
  3. P.K. Lo, F. Altvater and H.F. Sleiman. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132, 10212-10214 (2010).
  4. F.A. Aldaye, P.K. Lo, P. Karam, C.K. McLaughlin, G. Cosa and H.F. Sleiman. Nature Nanotechnol. 4, 349-352 (2009).

Graham D. Hamblin
Hanadi F. Sleiman

Chemistry Department
McGill University
801 Sherbrooke St West
Montreal QC H3A2K6 Canada