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Topology switchable DNA origami devices

7 Nov 2023

Summary of our research

A research group led by Associate Professor Yuki Suzuki (Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Mie University), Assistant Professor Ibuki Kawamata (Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University), and Professor Hanbin Mao (Kent State University, U.S.A.) developed a modular DNA origami device whose shape and mechanical properties can be switched by external stimuli.
The newly developed DNA origami device contains repeated nanoscale deformable modules, the accumulation of which results in large-scale deformation of the entire structure from a linear to a coiled spring shape. By controlling the bending deformation of each module via the formation of different DNA structures (a double-helix structure and a tetraplex structure), the topology of the coiled spring and its spring constant were reversibly switched. The stimuli-dependent modulation of topologies and mechanical properties demonstrated in this study offers a novel design strategy for developing multi-responsive smart biomaterials that exhibit unique functions depending on external stimuli or their combinations.

This work was published in Nature Communications on 13 October, 2023. The paper has been featured in a Nature Communications Editors' Highlights webpage.


Researcher information


Associate Professor, Department of Engineering

Research area:

DNA/RNA nanotechnology, Nanobiotechnology, Biomolecular engineering