Unzipping and shearing DNA with electrophoresed nanoparticles in hydrogels

Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2017 May 31;19(21):13414-13418. doi: 10.1039/c7cp02214j.


We show electric control of unzipping and shearing dehybridization of a DNA duplex anchored to a hydrogel. Tensile force is applied by electrophoresing (25 V cm-1) gold nanoparticles pulling the DNA duplex. The pulled DNA strand is gradually released from the hydrogel. The unzipping release rate is faster than shearing; for example, 3-fold for a 15 base pair duplex, which helps to design electrically driven DNA devices.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylic Resins / chemistry*
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Electrophoresis
  • Gold / chemistry
  • Hydrogels / chemistry*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / drug effects


  • Acrylic Resins
  • Hydrogels
  • Gold
  • polyacrylamide
  • DNA