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Title: Modular self-assembly of gamma-modified peptide nucleic acids in organic solvent mixtures

Nucleic acid-based materials enable sub-nanometer precision in self-assembly for fields including biophysics, diagnostics, therapeutics, photonics, and nanofabrication. However, structural DNA nanotechnology has been limited to substantially hydrated media. Transfer to organic solvents commonly used in polymer and peptide synthesis results in the alteration of DNA helical structure or reduced thermal stabilities. Here we demonstrate that gamma-modified peptide nucleic acids (γPNA) can be used to enable formation of complex, self-assembling nanostructures in select polar aprotic organic solvent mixtures. However, unlike the diameter-monodisperse populations of nanofibers formed using analogous DNA approaches,γPNA structures appear to form bundles of nanofibers. A tight distribution of the nanofiber diameters could, however, be achieved in the presence of the surfactant SDS during self-assembly. We further demonstrate nanostructure morphology can be tuned by means of solvent solution and by strand substitution with DNA and unmodified PNA. This work thereby introduces a science ofγPNA nanotechnology.

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Award ID(s):
1944130 1739308
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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