Single molecule nanometronome

Nano Lett. 2006 Mar;6(3):496-500. doi: 10.1021/nl052492p.


We constructed a DNA-based nanomechanical device called the nanometronome. Our device is made by introducing complementary single-stranded overhangs at the two arms of the DNA four-way junction. The ticking rates of this stochastic metronome depend on ion concentrations and can be changed by a set of DNA-based switches to deactivate/reactivate the sticky end. Since the device displays clearly distinguishable responses even with a single base pair difference, it may lead to a single molecule sensor of minute sequence differences of a target DNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation*
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Stochastic Processes


  • DNA