Microrheology of DNA hydrogel gelling and melting on cooling
We present systematic characterisation by means of dynamic light scattering and particle tracking techniques of the viscosity and of the linear viscoelastic moduli, G′(ω) and G′′(ω), for two different DNA hydrogels. These thermoreversible systems are composed of tetravalent DNA-made nanostars whose sticky sequence is designed to provide controlled interparticle bonding. While the first system forms a gel on cooling, the second one has been programmed to behave as a re-entrant gel, turning again to a fluid solution at low temperature. The frequency-dependent viscous and storage moduli and the viscosity reveal the different viscoelastic behavior of the two DNA hydrogels. Our results show how little variations in the design of the DNA sequences allow tuning of the mechanical response of these biocompatible all-DNA materials.