Dissipative operation of pH-responsive DNA-based nanodevices†
We demonstrate here the use of 2-(4-chlorophenyl)-2-cyanopropanoic acid (CPA) and nitroacetic acid (NAA) as convenient chemical fuels to drive the dissipative operation of DNA-based nanodevices. Addition of either of the fuel acids to a water solution initially causes a rapid transient pH decrease, which is then followed by a slower pH increase. We have employed such low-to-high pH cycles to control in a dissipative way the operation of two model DNA-based nanodevices: a DNA nanoswitch undergoing time-programmable open–close–open cycles of motion, and a DNA-based receptor able to release-uptake a DNA cargo strand. The kinetics of the transient operation of both systems can be easily modulated by varying the concentration of the acid fuel added to the solution and both acid fuels show an efficient reversibility which further supports their versatility.
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