A replicable tetrahedral nanostructure self-assembled from a single DNA strand

J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Sep 16;131(36):13093-8. doi: 10.1021/ja903768f.


We report the design and construction of a nanometer-sized tetrahedron from a single strand of DNA that is 286 nucleotides long. The formation of the tetrahedron was verified by restriction enzyme digestion, Ferguson analysis, and atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging. We further demonstrate that synthesis of the tetrahedron can be easily scaled up through in vivo replication using standard molecular cloning techniques. We found that the in vivo replication efficiency of the tetrahedron is significantly higher in comparison to in vitro replication using rolling-circle amplification (RCA). Our results suggest that it is now possible to design and replicate increasingly complex, single-stranded DNA nanostructures in vivo.

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

  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / chemistry*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / genetics*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures / ultrastructure
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation


  • DNA, Single-Stranded