Significant progress in DNA nanotechnology has accelerated the development of molecular machines with functions like macroscale machines. However, the mobility of DNA self‐assembled nanorobots is still dramatically limited due to challenges with designing and controlling nanoscale systems with many degrees of freedom. Here, an origami‐inspired method to design transformable DNA nanomachines is presented. This approach integrates stiff panels formed by bundles of double‐stranded DNA connected with foldable creases formed by single‐stranded DNA. To demonstrate the method, a DNA version of the paper origami mechanism called a waterbomb base (WBB) consisting of six panels connected by six joints is constructed. This nanoscale WBB can follow four distinct motion paths to transform between five distinct configurations including a flat square, two triangles, a rectangle, and a fully compacted trapezoidal shape. To achieve this, the sequence specificity of DNA base‐pairing is leveraged for the selective actuation of joints and the ion‐sensitivity of base‐stacking interactions is employed for the flattening of joints. In addition, higher‐order assembly of DNA WBBs into reconfigurable arrays is achieved. This work establishes a foundation for origami‐inspired design for next generation synthetic molecular robots and reconfigurable nanomaterials enabling more complex and controllable motion.
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
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- Journal of Micro and Nano-Manufacturing
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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