Supramolecular assembly of DNA-constructed vesicles†
The self-assembly of DNA hybrids possessing tetraphenylethylene sticky ends at both sides into vesicular architectures in aqueous medium is demonstrated. Cryo-electron microscopy reveals the formation of different types of morphologies from the amphiphilic DNA-hybrids. Depending on the conditions, either an extended (sheet-like) or a compact (columnar) alignment of the DNA hybrids is observed. The different modes of DNA arrangement lead to the formation of vesicles appearing either as prolate ellipsoids (type I) or as spheres (type II). The type of packing has a significant effect on the accessibility of the DNA, as evidenced by intercalation and light-harvesting experiments. Only the vesicles exhibiting the sheet-like DNA alignment are accessible for intercalation by ethidium bromide or for the integration of chromophore-labelled DNA via a strand exchange process. The dynamic nature of type I vesicles enables their elaboration into artificial light-harvesting complexes by DNA-guided introduction of Cy3-acceptor chromophores. DNA-constructed vesicles of the kind shown here represent versatile intermediates that are amenable to further modification for tailored nanotechnology applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2020 Nanoscale HOT Article Collection