Programming Colloidal Bonding Using DNA Strand-Displacement Circuitry

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Mar 17;117(11):5617-5623. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1917941117. Epub 2020 Mar 4.


As a strategy for regulating entropy, thermal annealing is a commonly adopted approach for controlling dynamic pathways in colloid assembly. By coupling DNA strand-displacement circuits with DNA-functionalized colloid assembly, we developed an enthalpy-mediated strategy for achieving the same goal while working at a constant temperature. Using this tractable approach allows colloidal bonding to be programmed for synchronization with colloid assembly, thereby realizing the optimal programmability of DNA-functionalized colloids. We applied this strategy to conditionally activate colloid assembly and dynamically switch colloid identities by reconfiguring DNA molecular architectures, thereby achieving orderly structural transformations; leveraging the advantage of room-temperature assembly, we used this method to prepare a lattice of temperature-sensitive proteins and gold nanoparticles. This approach bridges two subfields: dynamic DNA nanotechnology and DNA-functionalized colloid programming.

Keywords: DNA strand-displacement circuitry; colloid assembly; enthalpy-mediated strategy; programmable colloidal bonding; structural transformation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Pairing
  • Colloids / chemistry
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Gold / chemistry
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation
  • Pressure
  • Protein Conformation
  • Stimuli Responsive Polymers / chemistry*
  • Temperature
  • Thermodynamics


  • Colloids
  • Stimuli Responsive Polymers
  • Gold
  • DNA