Nano Research

Article Title

A DNA origami plasmonic sensor with environment-independent read-out


DNA origami, plasmonic sensor, molecular detection, gold nanoparticle


DNA origami is a promising technology for its reproducibility, flexibility, scalability and biocompatibility. Among the several potential applications, DNA origami has been proposed as a tool for drug delivery and as a contrast agent, since a conformational change upon specific target interaction may be used to release a drug or produce a physical signal, respectively. However, its conformation should be robust with respect to the properties of the medium in which either the recognition or the read-out take place, such as pressure, viscosity and any other unspecific interaction other than the desired target recognition. Here we report on the read-out robustness of a tetragonal DNA-origami/gold-nanoparticle hybrid structure able to change its configuration, which is transduced in a change of its plasmonic properties, upon interaction with a specific DNA target. We investigated its response when analyzed in three different media: aqueous solution, solid support and viscous gel. We show that, once a conformational variation is produced, it remains unaffected by the subsequent physical interactions with the environment.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press