Rapid folding of DNA into nanoscale shapes at constant temperature

Jean Philippe J. Sobczak, Thomas G. Martin, Thomas Gerling, Hendrik Dietz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that, at constant temperature, hundreds of DNA strands can cooperatively fold a long template DNA strand within minutes into complex nanoscale objects. Folding occurred out of equilibrium along nucleation-driven pathways at temperatures that could be influenced by the choice of sequences, strand lengths, and chain topology. Unfolding occurred in apparent equilibrium at higher temperatures than those for folding. Folding at optimized constant temperatures enabled the rapid production of three-dimensional DNA objects with yields that approached 100%. The results point to similarities with protein folding in spite of chemical and structural differences. The possibility for rapid and high-yield assembly will enable DNA nanotechnology for practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1458-1461
Number of pages4
Issue number6113
StatePublished - 14 Dec 2012


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