Self-Assembly of DNA Origami Heterodimers in High Yields and Analysis of the Involved Mechanisms

Breveruos Sheheade, Miran Liber, Mary Popov, Yaron Berger, Dinesh C. Khara, Jürgen Jopp, Eyal Nir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Efficient fabrication of structurally and functionally diverse nanomolecular devices and machines by organizing separately prepared DNA origami building blocks into a larger structure is limited by origami attachment yields. A general method that enables attachment of origami building blocks using ‘sticky ends' at very high yields is demonstrated. Two different rectangular origami monomers are purified using agarose gel electrophoresis conducted in solute containing 100 × 10−3 m NaCl, a treatment that facilitates the dissociation of most of the incorrectly hybridized origami structures that form through blunt-end interactions during the thermal annealing process and removes these structures as well as excess strands that otherwise interfere with the desired heterodimerization reaction. Heterodimerization yields of gel-purified monomers are between 98.6% and 99.6%, considerably higher than that of monomers purified using the polyethylene glycol (PEG) method (88.7–96.7%). Depending on the number of PEG purification rounds, these results correspond to about 4- to 25-fold reduction in the number of incorrect structures observed by atomic force microscopy. Furthermore, the analyses of the incorrect structures observed before and after the heterodimerization reactions and comparison of the purification methods provide valuable information on the reaction mechanisms that interfere with heterodimerization.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1902979
Issue number51
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • DNA molecular devices
  • DNA nanotechnology
  • DNA origami
  • agarose gel electrophoresis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • General Materials Science
  • Biomaterials


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