A DNA–nanoparticle actuator enabling optical monitoring of nanoscale movements induced by an electric field

Publication year: 2018
Authors: Tapio K. a, Shao D. a, Auer S. b, Tuppurainen J. c, Ahlskog M. a, Hytönen V.P. b, Toppari J.J. a*
Affiliations:
Published in: Nanoscale, 2018, Vol. 10, p. 19297-19309
doi: 10.1039/c8nr05535a

Merging biological and non-biological matter to fabricate nanoscale assemblies with controllable motion and function is of great interest due to its potential application, for example, in diagnostics and biosensing. Here, we have constructed a DNA-based bionanoactuator that interfaces with biological and non-biological matter via an electric field in a reversibly controllable fashion. The read-out of the actuator is based on motion-induced changes in the plasmon resonance of a gold nanoparticle immobilized to a gold surface by single stranded DNA. The motion of the gold nanoparticle and thus the conformational changes of the DNA under varying electric field were analyzed by dark field spectroscopy. After this basic characterization, another actuator was built utilizing hairpin-DNA coated gold nanoparticles, where the hairpin-DNA induced discrete transitions between two specific open-loop and folded-loop states. These two states and the transition dynamics between them were clearly visible in the actuator behavior. The demonstrated nanoactuator concept could be readily extended to inspection of conformational changes of other biomolecules as well. Besides, this concept enables other possibilities in applications like surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and fluorescence enhancement, since the specific wavelength of the plasmon resonance of the actuator can be tuned by the external voltage.


MP-SPR keywords: actuator, biosensor, DNA conformational change, electric field stimulation, gold nanoparticles, LSPR, regenerable avidin