Precise structure control of three-state nanomechanical DNA origami devices

Methods. 2014 May 15;67(2):250-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.11.003. Epub 2013 Nov 21.


Precise structure switching between all of the three forms of three-state nanomechanical DNA origami devices has been accomplished. A nanomechanical DNA origami device called DNA origami pliers, which consists of two levers of 170-nm long, 20-nm wide, and 2-nm thick connected at a Holliday-junction fulcrum, takes three conformations: closed parallel, closed antiparallel, and open cross forms. They were previously applied to construct detection systems for biomolecules in single-molecular resolution by observing the structure switching between cross form and one of the other two forms under atomic force microscope (AFM). We redesigned DNA origami pliers in this study to let them freely switch between all of the three states including parallel-antiparallel direct switching without taking cross form. By the addition of appropriate switcher strands to the solution, hybridization and dehybridization of particular binder strands that fix the levers into predetermined state were selectively triggered as programmed in their sequence. Circuit structure switching through all of the three states in both of the two opposite direction was even successful with the new design.

Keywords: AFM; DNA nanotechnology; DNA origami; Molecular devices; Molecular robots; Nanomachines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage M13 / genetics
  • DNA, Cruciform / chemistry
  • DNA, Cruciform / ultrastructure
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / chemistry*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / ultrastructure
  • DNA, Viral / chemistry*
  • DNA, Viral / ultrastructure
  • Mechanical Phenomena
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures / ultrastructure


  • DNA, Cruciform
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • DNA, Viral