DNA-linked 2D and 3D nano-assemblies find use in a diverse set of applications, ranging from DNA-origami in drug delivery and medical imaging, to DNA-linked nanoparticle structures for use in plasmonics and (bio)sensing. However, once these structures have been fully assembled, few options are available to modulate structure geometry. Here, we investigated the use of the polycation spermine to induce DNA collapse in small oligonucleotide-linked (54 bp) gold nanoparticle structures by monitoring shifts in the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) peak and by comparing the data with finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations. Our data shows that low concentrations of spermine can be applied to induce large changes in DNA conformation, leading to a significant reduction in interparticle distance (from ∼25 to ∼3 nm) and enhanced plasmonic coupling. The DNA collapse is near-instantaneous and reversible, and its application at low and high DNA densities is demonstrated with surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi), showing the potential of spermine to dynamically modulate distances and geometry in DNA-based nano-assemblies.
- deoxyribonucleic acid
- localized surface plasmon resonance
- surface plasmon resonance imaging