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DNA-nanoparticle assemblies go organic: Macroscopic polymeric materials with nanosized features

Elad D Mentovich1, Konstantin Livanov1, Deepak K Prusty2, Mukules Sowwan3 and Shachar Richter1*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Exact Sciences and Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Tel-Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel-Aviv, 69978, Israel

2 University of Groningen, Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, Nijenborgh 4, 9747, AG, Groningen, The Netherlands

3 Nanotechnology Research Laboratory, Materials Engineering Department, Al-Quds University, East Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority

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Journal of Nanobiotechnology 2012, 10:21  doi:10.1186/1477-3155-10-21

Published: 30 May 2012



One of the goals in the field of structural DNA nanotechnology is the use of DNA to build up 2- and 3-D nanostructures. The research in this field is motivated by the remarkable structural features of DNA as well as by its unique and reversible recognition properties. Nucleic acids can be used alone as the skeleton of a broad range of periodic nanopatterns and nanoobjects and in addition, DNA can serve as a linker or template to form DNA-hybrid structures with other materials. This approach can be used for the development of new detection strategies as well as nanoelectronic structures and devices.


Here we present a new method for the generation of unprecedented all-organic conjugated-polymer nanoparticle networks guided by DNA, based on a hierarchical self-assembly process. First, microphase separation of amphiphilic block copolymers induced the formation of spherical nanoobjects. As a second ordering concept, DNA base pairing has been employed for the controlled spatial definition of the conjugated-polymer particles within the bulk material. These networks offer the flexibility and the diversity of soft polymeric materials. Thus, simple chemical methodologies could be applied in order to tune the network's electrical, optical and mechanical properties.

Results and conclusions

One- two- and three-dimensional networks have been successfully formed. Common to all morphologies is the integrity of the micelles consisting of DNA block copolymer (DBC), which creates an all-organic engineered network.

DNA block copolymer; DNA-Nanoparticle Assemblies; Self- Organization; Micelles