Nano Research

, Volume 12, Issue 11, pp 2900–2907 | Cite as

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

  • Valentina MasciottiEmail author
  • Luca Piantanida
  • Denys Naumenko
  • Heinz Amenitsch
  • Mattia Fanetti
  • Matjaž Valant
  • Dongsheng Lei
  • Gang Ren
  • Marco LazzarinoEmail author
Research Article


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.


DNA origami plasmonic sensor molecular detection gold nanoparticle 


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V. M. acknowledges financial support from MIUR (MIUR Giovani-Ambito “Salute dell’uomo”). Work at the Molecular Foundry, under the research project No. 3376, was supported by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. We acknowledge the Facility of Nanofabrication (FNF) of IOM for the support in sample preparation, Simone Dal Zilio and Silvio Greco for help in data analysis and stimulating discussions. We acknowledge Prof. Giuseppe Firrao for valuable comments and inspiring ideas, the NanoInnovation laboratory (Elettra Sincrotrone) for suggestion provided for AFM analysis and the BioLab (Elettra Sincrotrone) for the use of lab and instrumentation.

Supplementary material

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


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentina Masciotti
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Luca Piantanida
    • 1
  • Denys Naumenko
    • 1
    • 3
  • Heinz Amenitsch
    • 4
  • Mattia Fanetti
    • 5
  • Matjaž Valant
    • 5
    • 6
  • Dongsheng Lei
    • 7
    • 8
  • Gang Ren
    • 7
  • Marco Lazzarino
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.CNR-IOM, AREA Science ParkBasovizza TriesteItaly
  2. 2.PhD Course in NanotechnologyUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly
  3. 3.Institute for Physics of SemiconductorsNational Academy of Sciences of UkraineKyivUkraine
  4. 4.Institute of Inorganic ChemistryGraz University of TechnologyGrazAustria
  5. 5.Materials Research LaboratoryUniversity of Nova GoricaNova GoricaSlovenia
  6. 6.Institute of Fundamental and Frontier SciencesUniversity of Electronic Science and Technology of ChinaChengduChina
  7. 7.The Molecular FoundryLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA
  8. 8.School of Physical Science and Technology, Electron Microscopy Center of LZULanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina

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