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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    AU - Little, Charles A.E.

    AU - Long, Christian J.

    AU - Orloff, Nathan D.

    AU - Stephanopoulos, Nicholas

    AU - Booth, James C.

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