Nematic DNA Thermotropic Liquid Crystals with Photoresponsive Mechanical Properties

Lei Zhang, Sourav Maity, Kai Liu, Qing Liu, Robert Göstl, Giuseppe Portale, Wouter H Roos, Andreas Herrmann

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

32 Citaten (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


Over the last decades, water-based lyotropic liquid crystals of nucleic acids have been extensively investigated because of their important role in biology. Alongside, solvent-free thermotropic liquid crystals (TLCs) from DNA are gaining great interest, owing to their relevance to DNA-inspired optoelectronic applications. Up to now, however, only the smectic phase of DNA TLCs has been reported. The development of new mesophases including nematic, hexagonal, and cubic structures for DNA TLCs remains a significant challenge, which thus limits their technological applications considerably. In this work, a new type of DNA TLC that is formed by electrostatic complexation of anionic oligonucleotides and cationic surfactants containing an azobenzene (AZO) moiety is demonstrated. DNA-AZO complexes form a stable nematic mesophase over a temperature range from -7 to 110 °C and retain double-stranded DNA structure at ambient temperature. Photoisomerization of the AZO moieties from the E- to the Z-form alters the stiffness of the DNA-AZO hybrid materials opening a pathway toward the development of DNA TLCs as stimuli-responsive biomaterials.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1701207
Aantal pagina's9
Nummer van het tijdschrift34
Vroegere onlinedatum11-jul.-2017
StatusPublished - 13-sep.-2017

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