Immobilization and one-dimensional arrangement of virus capsids with nanoscale precision using DNA origami

Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Minghui Liu, Gary J. Tong, Zhe Li, Yan Liu, Hao Yan, Matthew B. Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


DNA origami was used as a scaffold to arrange spherical virus capsids into one-dimensional arrays with precise nanoscale positioning. To do this, we first modified the interior surface of bacteriophage MS2 capsids with fluorescent dyes as a model cargo. An unnatural amino acid on the external surface was then coupled to DNA strands that were complementary to those extending from origami tiles. Two different geometries of DNA tiles (rectangular and triangular) were used. The capsids associated with tiles of both geometries with virtually 100% efficiency under mild annealing conditions, and the location of capsid immobilization on the tile could be controlled by the position of the probe strands. The rectangular tiles and capsids could then be arranged into one-dimensional arrays by adding DNA strands linking the corners of the tiles. The resulting structures consisted of multiple capsids with even spacing (∼100 nm). We also used a second set of tiles that had probe strands at both ends, resulting in a one-dimensional array of alternating capsids and tiles. This hierarchical self-assembly allows us to position the virus particles with unprecedented control and allows the future construction of integrated multicomponent systems from biological scaffolds using the power of rationally engineered DNA nanostructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2714-2720
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 14 2010


  • Biomolecular materials
  • DNA origami
  • Self-assembly
  • Viral capsids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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