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Energy transmission by gold nanoparticles bonded to DNA structures

The scientists from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet used these DNA structures as scaffolds and showed that precisely positioned gold nanoparticles can serve as efficient energy transmitters.

In 2006 the inception of the field and laboratories around the world have been exploring the use of DNA origami for the assembly of complex nanostructures. This is based on the DNA strands with defined sequences that interact via localized base pairing. Tim Liedl of the Faculty of Physics at LMU said that With the aid of short strands with appropriate sequences, we can connect specific regions of long DNA molecules, rather like forming three-dimensional structures by folding a flat sheet of paper in certain ways.

The researchers used DNA origami to construct chiral objects. They used structures that cannot be superimposed by any combination of rotation and translation. Instead, they possess handedness and are mirror images of one another. Those pairs o differ in their physical properties. This effect can be exploited in many ways. It is the basis for circular dichroism spectroscopy. The technique is used to explain the overall spatial configuration of chemical compounds and even whole proteins.

The researchers along with his team synthesized complex DNA-origami structures that provide precisely positioned binding sites for the attachment of spherical and rod-shaped gold nanoparticles. The scaffold serves as a template or mould for the placement of nanoparticles at predetermined positions and in a defined spatial orientation. He also added that One can assemble a chiral object based solely on the arrangement of the gold nanoparticles.

Gold is a noble metal and chemically robust that exhibits surface plasmon resonances. Plasmons are coherent electron oscillations that are generated when light interacts with the surface of a metal structure. Liedl also added that picture of these oscillations as being like the waves that are excited when a bottle of water is shaken either parallel or at right angles to its long axis.

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