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Published July 12, 2006 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Sturdier DNA nanotubes via ligation


DNA nanotubes are crystalline self-assemblies of DNA tiles ~10 nm in diameter that readily grow tens of micrometers in length. Easy assembly, programmability, and stiffness make them interesting for many applications, but DNA nanotubes begin to melt at temperatures below 40 °C, break open when deposited on mica or scanned by AFM, and disintegrate in deionized water. These weaknesses can be traced to the presence of discontinuities in the phosphate backbone, called nicks. The nanotubes studied here have five nicks, one in the core of a tile and one at each corner. We report the successful ligation of all four corner nicks by T4 DNA ligase. Although ligation does not change the nanotubes' stiffness, ligated nanotubes withstand temperatures over 70 °C, resist breaking during AFM, and are stable in pure water for over a month. Ligated DNA nanotubes are thus physically and chemically sturdy enough to withstand the manipulations necessary for many technological applications.

Additional Information

© 2006 American Chemical Society. Received February 15, 2006; Revised Manuscript Received May 19, 2006. Publication Date (Web): June 20, 2006. We thank Erik Winfree and Kyle Chipman for insightful discussions. This work was supported by an NER Award No. 0404440 from the National Science Foundation.

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