Folding and cutting DNA into reconfigurable topological nanostructures

Dongran Han, Suchetan Pal, Yan Liu, Hao Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


Topology is the mathematical study of the spatial properties that are preserved through the deformation, twisting and stretching of objects. Topological architectures are common in nature and can be seen, for example, in DNA molecules that condense and relax during cellular events. Synthetic topological nanostructures, such as catenanes and rotaxanes, have been engineered using supramolecular chemistry, but the fabrication of complex and reconfigurable structures remains challenging. Here, we show that DNA origami can be used to assemble a Möbius strip, a topological ribbon-like structure that has only one side. In addition, we show that the DNA Möbius strip can be reconfigured through strand displacement to create topological objects such as supercoiled ring and catenane structures. This DNA fold-and-cut strategy, analogous to Japanese kirigami, may be used to create and reconfigure programmable topological structures that are unprecedented in molecular engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-717
Number of pages6
JournalNature nanotechnology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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