Controlling gold helices with DNA

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Science  28 Sep 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6409, pp. 1351-1352
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6409.1351-e

The plasmonic properties of gold nanoparticles can be exploited by creating arrays that control their spacing and orientation to induce chiral optical properties. Lan et al. attached gold nanorods to V-shaped hinged DNA origami structures, thereby allowing the DNA origami to self-assemble along their edges and create staircase helical structures. By interchanging the spacer that sets the hinge angle of the V with a longer spacer, they converted the helix into an extended structure with a different circular-dichroism spectrum. Alternatively, the authors show that a fixed spacer can be used and additional DNA strands attached at the hinge and at the ends of the V structures. These strands could then be reversibly displaced by ones that cause the helix to switch handedness.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 140, 11763 (2018).

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