Programming Colloidal Phase Transitions with DNA Strand Displacement

February 5, 2015
Figure 2 (B)

Fig. 2 (B) A single displacement reaction eliminates the temperature dependence of binding: Representative confocal fluorescence micrographs of a binary suspension of DNA-grafted particles at various temperatures. [Reprinted with permission from AAAS. ©2015.]

Colloidal particles have been used as atom mimics and are often connected together using complementary DNA strands. Postdoc W. Benjamin Rogers and Prof. Vinothan Manoharan controlled the strength of the colloidal "bond" by using a set of competing strand displacement reactions. They capitalized on the reversible chemical equilibrium between the DNA strands connecting different particles to control the temperature dependence of the equilibrium state. Their research is reported in the latest issue on Science.

See W.B. Rogers and V.N. Manoharan, "Programming colloidal phase transitions with DNA strand displacement," Science 347:6222 (6 Feb 2015) | DOI: 10.1126/science.1259762