A DNA-Based Device Switchable Between Three Conformations

Friedrich C. Simmel

Center for NanoScience and Division of Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Geschwister Scholl Platz 1, D-80539 Munich, Germany

e-mail: friedrich.simmel@physik.uni-muenchen.de

URL: http://www.nano.physik.uni-muenchen.de/simmel/fritzmain.html

DNA hybridization interactions can be used to construct nanomechanical devices and induce motion on the molecular scale [1-6]. Here a simple DNA-based device is presented which can be switched between three distinct mechanical conformations [5]. The conformational changes can be specifically induced by the choice of appropriate DNA "fuel" strands. Using the phenomenon of DNA branch migration, these conformational transitions can be reversed and the device can be returned to its original state. In this way, a cyclical operation of the device can be realised, reminiscent of the operation of an engine consuming fuel.