Self-assembly of DNA nanotubes with controllable diameters

Ofer I. Wilner, Ron Orbach, Anja Henning, Carsten Teller, Omer Yehezkeli, Michael Mertig, Daniel Harries, Itamar Willner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The synthesis of DNA nanotubes is an important area in nanobiotechnology. Different methods to assemble DNA nanotubes have been reported, and control over the width of the nanotubes has been achieved by programmed subunits of DNA tiles. Here we report the self-assembly of DNA nanotubes with controllable diameters. The DNA nanotubes are formed by the self-organization of single-stranded DNAs, exhibiting appropriate complementarities that yield hexagon (small or large) and tetragon geometries. In the presence of rolling circle amplification strands, that exhibit partial complementarities to the edges of the hexagon- or tetragon-building units, non-bundled DNA nanotubes of controlled diameters can be formed. The formation of the DNA tubes, and the control over the diameters of the generated nanotubes, are attributed to the thermodynamically favoured unidirectional growth of the sheets of the respective subunits, followed subjected to the folding of sheets by elastic-energy penalties that are compensated by favoured binding energies.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number540
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Th is research was supported by the NanoSensoMach ERC Grant (#267574) under the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 / 2007-2013). A.H. and M.M. kindly acknowledge financial support from the DFG (contract: DFG 1401 / 1, ME 1256/10-1). The Fritz Haber research center is supported by the Minerva Foundation, Munich, Germany. We thank Dr Inna Popov and Mrs Evgenia Blayvas from the Harvey M. Krueger Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


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