Addressing, amplifying and switching DNAzyme functions by electrochemically-triggered release of metal ions
The design of artificial cells, which mimic the functions of native cells, is an ongoing scientific goal. The development of stimuli-responsive chemical systems that stimulate cascaded catalytic transformations, trigger chemical networks, and control vectorial branched transformations and dose-controlled processes, are the minimum requirements for mimicking cell functions. We have studied the electrochemical programmed release of ions from electrodes, which trigger selective DNAzyme-driven chemical reactions, cascaded reactions that self-assemble catalytic DNAzyme polymers, and the ON–OFF switching and dose-controlled operation of catalytic reactions. The addressable and potential-controlled release of Pb2+ or Ag+ ions into an electrolyte that includes a mixture of nucleic acids, results in the metal ion-guided selection of nucleic acids yielding the formation of specific DNAzymes, which stimulate orthogonal reactions or activate DNAzyme cascades.