Direct Visualization of Walking Motions of Photocontrolled Nanomachine on the DNA Nanostructure

Nano Lett. 2015 Oct 14;15(10):6672-6. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b02502. Epub 2015 Sep 3.


A light-driven artificial molecular nanomachine was constructed based on DNA scaffolding. Pyrene-modified walking strands and disulfide bond-connected stator strands, employed as anchorage sites to support walker movement, were assembled into a 2D DNA tile. Pyrene molecules excited by photoirradiation at 350 nm induced cleavage of disulfide bond-connected stator strands, enabling the DNA walker to migrate from one cleaved stator to the next on the DNA tile. The time-dependent movement of the walker was observed and the entire walking process of the walker was characterized by distribution of the walker-stator duplex at four anchorage sites on the tile under different irradiation times. Importantly, the light-fuelled mechanical movements on DNA tile were first visualized in real time during UV irradiation using high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM).

Keywords: DNA motor; DNA origami; high-speed AFM; light-driven; single molecule analysis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Nanostructures*
  • Photochemical Processes


  • DNA