Label-free detection of conformational changes in switchable DNA nanostructures with microwave microfluidics

Angela C. Stelson, Minghui Liu, Charles A.E. Little, Christian J. Long, Nathan D. Orloff, Nicholas Stephanopoulos, James C. Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Detection of conformational changes in biomolecular assemblies provides critical information into biological and self-assembly processes. State-of-the-art in situ biomolecular conformation detection techniques rely on fluorescent labels or protein-specific binding agents to signal conformational changes. Here, we present an on-chip, label-free technique to detect conformational changes in a DNA nanomechanical tweezer structure with microwave microfluidics. We measure the electromagnetic properties of suspended DNA tweezer solutions from 50 kHz to 110 GHz and directly detect two distinct conformations of the structures. We develop a physical model to describe the electrical properties of the tweezers, and correlate model parameters to conformational changes. The strongest indicator for conformational changes in DNA tweezers are the ionic conductivity, while shifts in the magnitude of the cooperative water relaxation indicate the addition of fuel strands used to open the tweezer. Microwave microfluidic detection of conformational changes is a generalizable, non-destructive technique, making it attractive for high-throughput measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1174
JournalNature communications
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Fingerprint

Microfluidics
Nanostructures
Microwaves
Labels
deoxyribonucleic acid
microwaves
Conformations
DNA
Electromagnetic Phenomena
electromagnetic properties
Ionic conductivity
Protein Binding
strands
Self assembly
assemblies
ion currents
self assembly
Electric properties
electrical properties
chips

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Label-free detection of conformational changes in switchable DNA nanostructures with microwave microfluidics. / Stelson, Angela C.; Liu, Minghui; Little, Charles A.E.; Long, Christian J.; Orloff, Nathan D.; Stephanopoulos, Nicholas; Booth, James C.

In: Nature communications, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1174, 01.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stelson, Angela C. ; Liu, Minghui ; Little, Charles A.E. ; Long, Christian J. ; Orloff, Nathan D. ; Stephanopoulos, Nicholas ; Booth, James C. / Label-free detection of conformational changes in switchable DNA nanostructures with microwave microfluidics. In: Nature communications. 2019 ; Vol. 10, No. 1.
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