Functionalization of quantum rods with oligonucleotides for programmable assembly with DNA origami
The DNA-mediated self-assembly of CdSe/CdS quantum rods (QRs) onto DNA origami is described. Two QR types with unique optical emission and high polarization were synthesized, and then functionalized with oligonucleotides (ssDNA) using a novel protection-deprotection approach, which harnessed ssDNA's tailorable rigidity and denaturation temperature to increase DNA coverage by reducing non-specific coordination and wrapping. The QR assembly was programmable, and occurred at two different assembly zones that had capture strands in parallel alignment. QRs with different optical properties were assembled, opening up future studies on orientation dependent QR FRET. The QR-origami conjugates could be purified via gel electrophoresis and sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation. Assembly yields, QR stoichiometry and orientation, as well as energy transfer implications were studied in light of QR distances, origami flexibility, and conditions.