Search for effective chemical quenching to arrest molecular assembly and directly monitor DNA nanostructure formation†
Structural DNA nanotechnology has demonstrated both versatility and potential as a molecular manufacturing tool; the formation and processing of DNA nanostructures has therefore been subject to much interest. Characterization of the formation process itself is vital to understanding the role of design in production yield. We present our search for a robust new technique, chemical quenching, to arrest molecular folding in DNA systems for subsequent characterization. Toward this end we will introduce two miniM13 origami designs based on a 2.4 kb scaffold, each with diametrically opposed scaffold routing strategies (maximized scaffold crossovers versus maximized staple crossovers) to examine the relevance of design in the folding process. By chemically rendering single strand DNA inert and unable to hybridize, we probe the folding pathway of several scaffolded DNA origami structures.