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Issue 6, 2018
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Using DNA strand displacement to control interactions in DNA-grafted colloids

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Abstract

Grafting DNA oligonucleotides to colloidal particles leads to specific, reversible interactions between those particles. However, the interaction strength varies steeply and monotonically with temperature, hindering the use of DNA-mediated interactions in self-assembly. We show how the dependence on temperature can be modified in a controlled way by incorporating DNA strand-displacement reactions. The method allows us to make multicomponent systems that can self-assemble over a wide range of temperatures, invert the dependence on temperature to design colloidal systems that melt upon cooling, controllably transition between structures with different compositions, or design systems with multiple melting transitions. This wide range of behaviors can be realized simply by adding a small number of DNA strands to the solution, making the approach modular and straightforward to implement. We conclude with practical considerations for designing systems of DNA-mediated colloidal interactions.

Graphical abstract: Using DNA strand displacement to control interactions in DNA-grafted colloids

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Article information


Submitted
26 Aug 2017
Accepted
03 Jan 2018
First published
04 Jan 2018

Soft Matter, 2018,14, 969-984
Article type
Paper

Using DNA strand displacement to control interactions in DNA-grafted colloids

E. W. Gehrels, W. B. Rogers and V. N. Manoharan, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 969
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01722G

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