Reversible Gel-Sol Transition of a Photo-Responsive DNA Gel

Chembiochem. 2016 Jun 16;17(12):1118-21. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201600088. Epub 2016 May 23.


Stimuli-responsive DNA gels that can undergo a sol-gel transition in response to photo-irradiation provide a way to engineer functional gel material with fully designed DNA base sequences. We propose an X-shaped DNA motif that turns into a gel by hybridization of self-complementary sticky ends. By embedding a photo-crosslinking artificial base in the sticky-end sequence, repetitive gel-sol transitions are achieved through UV irradiation at different wavelengths. The concentration of the DNA motif necessary for gelation is as low as 40 μm after modification of the geometrical properties of the motif. The physical properties, such as swelling degree and diffusion coefficient, were assessed experimentally.

Keywords: DNA; DNA structures; gels; nanotechnology; photo-responsive DNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / chemistry
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / metabolism
  • Gels / chemistry*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / radiation effects
  • Phase Transition
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Urea / chemistry


  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • Gels
  • Urea
  • DNA