Single-molecule mechanochemical sensing using DNA origami nanostructures

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 Jul 28;53(31):8137-41. doi: 10.1002/anie.201404043. Epub 2014 Jun 16.


While single-molecule sensing offers the ultimate detection limit, its throughput is often restricted as sensing events are carried out one at a time in most cases. 2D and 3D DNA origami nanostructures are used as expanded single-molecule platforms in a new mechanochemical sensing strategy. As a proof of concept, six sensing probes are incorporated in a 7-tile DNA origami nanoassembly, wherein binding of a target molecule to any of these probes leads to mechanochemical rearrangement of the origami nanostructure, which is monitored in real time by optical tweezers. Using these platforms, 10 pM platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) are detected within 10 minutes, while demonstrating multiplex sensing of the PDGF and a target DNA in the same solution. By tapping into the rapid development of versatile DNA origami nanostructures, this mechanochemical platform is anticipated to offer a long sought solution for single-molecule sensing with improved throughput.

Keywords: DNA nanotechnology; DNA origami nanostructures; mechanochemical sensing; optical tweezers; single-molecule techniques.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation*
  • Optical Tweezers


  • DNA