DNA has become one of the most extensively used molecular building blocks for engineering self-assembling materials. DNA origami is a technique that uses hundreds of short DNA oligonucleotides, called staple strands, to fold a long single-stranded DNA, which is called a scaffold strand, into various designer nanoscale architectures. DNA origami has dramatically improved the complexity and scalability of DNA nanostructures. Due to its high degree of customization and spatial addressability, DNA origami provides a versatile platform with which to engineer nanoscale structures and devices that can sense, compute, and actuate. These capabilities open up opportunities for a broad range of applications in chemistry, biology, physics, material science, and computer science that have often required programmed spatial control of molecules and atoms in three-dimensional (3D) space. This review provides a comprehensive survey of recent developments in DNA origami structure, design, assembly, and directed self-assembly, as well as its broad applications.
Scaffolded DNA origami is a versatile means of synthesizing complex molecular architectures. However, the approach is limited by the need to forward-design specific Watson-Crick base-pairing manually for any given target structure. Here, we report a general, top-down strategy to design nearly arbitrary DNA architectures autonomously based only on target shape. Objects are represented as closed surfaces rendered as polyhedral networks of parallel DNA duplexes, which enables complete DNA scaffold routing with a spanning tree algorithm. The asymmetric polymerase chain reaction was applied to produce stable, monodisperse assemblies with custom scaffold length and sequence that are verified structurally in 3D to be high fidelity using single-particle cryo-electron microscopy. Their long-term stability in serum and low-salt buffer confirms their utility for biological as well as nonbiological applications.
The cell-to-cell transmission of viral resistance is a potential mechanism for amplifying the interferon-induced antiviral response. In this study, we report that interferon-α (IFN-α) induced the transfer of resistance to hepatitis B virus (HBV) from nonpermissive liver nonparenchymal cells (LNPCs) to permissive hepatocytes via exosomes. Exosomes from IFN-α-treated LNPCs were rich in molecules with antiviral activity. Moreover, exosomes from LNPCs were internalized by hepatocytes, which mediated the intercellular transfer of antiviral molecules. Finally, we found that exosomes also contributed to the antiviral response of IFN-α to mouse hepatitis virus A59 and adenovirus in mice. Thus, we propose an antiviral mechanism of IFN-α activity that involves the induction and intercellular transfer of antiviral molecules via exosomes.
Over the past three decades DNA has emerged as an exceptional molecular building block for nanoconstruction due to its predictable conformation and programmable intra- and intermolecular Watson–Crick base-pairing interactions. A variety of convenient design rules and reliable assembly methods have been developed to engineer DNA nanostructures of increasing complexity. The ability to create designer DNA architectures with accurate spatial control has allowed researchers to explore novel applications in many directions, such as directed material assembly, structural biology, biocatalysis, DNA computing, nanorobotics, disease diagnosis, and drug delivery. This Perspective discusses the state of the art in the field of structural DNA nanotechnology and presents some of the challenges and opportunities that exist in DNA-based molecular design and programming.
A cost-effective route for the preparation of Fe(3) C-based core-shell structured catalysts for oxygen reduction reactions was developed. The novel catalysts generated a much higher power density (i.e., three times higher at R(ex) of 1 Ω) than the Pt/C in microbial fuel cells. Furthermore, the N-Fe/Fe(3)C@C features an ultralow cost and excellent long-term stability suitable for mass production.
Structural DNA nanotechnology and the DNA origami technique, in particular, have provided a range of spatially addressable two- and three-dimensional nanostructures. These structures are, however, typically formed of tightly packed parallel helices. The development of wireframe structures should allow the creation of novel designs with unique functionalities, but engineering complex wireframe architectures with arbitrarily designed connections between selected vertices in three-dimensional space remains a challenge. Here, we report a design strategy for fabricating finite-size wireframe DNA nanostructures with high complexity and programmability. In our approach, the vertices are represented by n × 4 multi-arm junctions (n = 2-10) with controlled angles, and the lines are represented by antiparallel DNA crossover tiles of variable lengths. Scaffold strands are used to integrate the vertices and lines into fully assembled structures displaying intricate architectures. To demonstrate the versatility of the technique, a series of two-dimensional designs including quasi-crystalline patterns and curvilinear arrays or variable curvatures, and three-dimensional designs including a complex snub cube and a reconfigurable Archimedean solid were constructed.
Genetically encoded protein scaffolds often serve as templates for the mineralization of biocomposite materials with complex yet highly controlled structural features that span from nanometres to the macroscopic scale. Methods developed to mimic these fabrication capabilities can produce synthetic materials with well defined micro- and macro-sized features, but extending control to the nanoscale remains challenging. DNA nanotechnology can deliver a wide range of customized nanoscale two- and three-dimensional assemblies with controlled sizes and shapes. But although DNA has been used to modulate the morphology of inorganic materials and DNA nanostructures have served as moulds and templates, it remains challenging to exploit the potential of DNA nanostructures fully because they require high-ionic-strength solutions to maintain their structure, and this in turn gives rise to surface charging that suppresses the material deposition. Here we report that the Stöber method, widely used for producing silica (silicon dioxide) nanostructures, can be adjusted to overcome this difficulty: when synthesis conditions are such that mineral precursor molecules do not deposit directly but first form clusters, DNA-silica hybrid materials that faithfully replicate the complex geometric information of a wide range of different DNA origami scaffolds are readily obtained. We illustrate this approach using frame-like, curved and porous DNA nanostructures, with one-, two- and three-dimensional complex hierarchical architectures that range in size from 10 to 1,000 nanometres. We also show that after coating with an amorphous silica layer, the thickness of which can be tuned by adjusting the growth time, hybrid structures can be up to ten times tougher than the DNA template while maintaining flexibility. These findings establish our approach as a general method for creating biomimetic silica nanostructures.
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