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Zhang, Tao; Hartl, Caroline; Frank, Kilian; Heuer-Jungemann, Amelie; Fischer, Stefan; Nickels, Philipp C.; Nickel, Bert; Liedl, Tim (2018): 3D DNA Origami Crystals. In: Advanced Materials, Vol. 30, No. 28, 1800273
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Abstract

3D crystals assembled entirely from DNA provide a route to design materials on a molecular level and to arrange guest particles in predefined lattices. This requires design schemes that provide high rigidity and sufficiently large open guest space. A DNA-origami-based tensegrity triangle structure that assembles into a 3D rhombohedral crystalline lattice with an open structure in which 90% of the volume is empty space is presented here. Site-specific placement of gold nanoparticles within the lattice demonstrates that these crystals are spacious enough to efficiently host 20 nm particles in a cavity size of 1.83 x 10(5) nm(3), which would also suffice to accommodate ribosome-sized macromolecules. The accurate assembly of the DNA origami lattice itself, as well as the precise incorporation of gold particles, is validated by electron microscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering experiments. The results show that it is possible to create DNA building blocks that assemble into lattices with customized geometry. Site-specific hosting of nano objects in the optically transparent DNA lattice sets the stage for metamaterial and structural biology applications.