Effects of Structural Flexibility on the Kinetics of DNA Y-Junction Assembly and Gelation

Lin Niu, Xuyan Yang, Wei Pan, Tao Zhou, Dongsheng Liu, Chengde Mao, Dehai Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The kinetics of DNA assembly is determined not only by temperature but also by the flexibility of the DNA tiles. In this work, the flexibility effect was studied with a model system of Y-junctions, which contain single-stranded thymine (T) loops in the center. It was demonstrated that the incorporation of a loop with only one thymine prominently improved the assembly rate and tuned the final structure of the assembly, whereas the incorporation of a loop of two thymines exhibited the opposite effect. These observations could be explained by the conformation adjustment rate and the intermotif binding strength. Increasing DNA concentration hindered the conformational adjustment rate of DNA strands, leading to the formation of hydrogels in which the network was connected by ribbons. Therefore, the gel can be treated as a metastable state during the phase transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12862-12868
Number of pages7
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 6 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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