Functionalized 3D DNA Crystals through Core-Shell and Layer-by-Layer Assembly
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A fundamental goal of DNA nanotechnology has been assembly of DNA crystals for use as molecular scaffolds to organize arrays of guest molecules. We use previously described 3D DNA crystals to demonstrate core-shell and layer-by-layer assembly of DNA crystals capable of accommodating tethered guest molecules within the crystals’ pervasive solvent channel network. We describe the first example of epitaxial biomacromolecular core-shell crystallization through assembly of the crystals in two or more discrete layers. The solvent channels also allow post-crystallization guest conjugation with layer-specific addressability. We present microfluidics techniques for core-shell crystal growth which unlock greater potential for finely tunable layer properties and assembling complex multifunctional crystals. We demonstrate assembly of these DNA crystals as nanoscale objects much smaller than previously observed. These techniques present new avenues for using DNA to create multifunctional micro- and nanoscale periodic biomaterials with tunable chemical and physical properties.