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Effect of water-DNA interactions on elastic properties of DNA self-assembled monolayers

AuthorsDomínguez, Carmen M.; Ramos Vega, Daniel ; Mendieta-Moreno, J. I. ; Fierro, José L.G.; Mendieta, Jesús ; Tamayo de Miguel, Francisco Javier ; Calleja, Montserrat
Issue Date3-Apr-2017
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationScientific Reports 7 (2017)
AbstractDNA-water interactions have revealed as very important actor in DNA mechanics, from the molecular to the macroscopic scale. Given the particularly useful properties of DNA molecules to engineer novel materials through self-assembly and by bridging organic and inorganic materials, the interest in understanding DNA elasticity has crossed the boundaries of life science to reach also materials science and engineering. Here we show that thin films of DNA constructed through the self-assembly of sulfur tethered ssDNA strands demonstrate a Young's modulus tuning range of about 10 GPa by simply varying the environment relative humidity from 0% up to 70%. We observe that the highest tuning range occurs for ssDNA grafting densities of about 3.5 × 10 molecules/cm , where the distance between the molecules maximizes the water mediated interactions between the strands. Upon hybridization with the complementary strand, the DNA self-assembled monolayers significantly soften by one order of magnitude and their Young's modulus dependency on the hydration state drastically decreases. The experimental observations are in agreement with molecular dynamics simulations.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/s41598-017-00605-x
issn: 2045-2322
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