Gating of bioinspired nanochannel is crucial for ion flux and ion rectification control. DNA technologies become emerging for the gating channels. However, the monolayer configuration of DNA limited its regulation ability in the confined domain.
Aiming at this drawbacks, Prof. Lei Jiang’s group and Prof. Ye Tian’s group at Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Prof. Itamar Willner at Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a novel hydrogel-based bioinspired artificial nanochannel for ionic flux regulation for the first time. The responsive DNA hydrogel could switch its conformation between the G-quadruplex (stiff state) and the hydrogel (less stiff state) under external stimulus (K+ /18-crown-6-ether), leading to the gating of the nano-fluidic channels.
More delicate shape design of the nanochannel with double-cigar tips with DNA hydrogel decoration achieved open/open, closed/closed, open/closed, and closed/open switching alternately or simultaneously. Furthermore, the nanochannel behaves pH and concentration gradient, which expanding its application in various fields.
Figure. A) Illustration of the preparation process of the ion channel. Gold is sputtered from the tip side of the conical nanochannel (PET/Au), and DNA hydrogels are self‐assembled onto the Au coated tip side through the hybridization chain reaction (HCR) (PET/Au/DNA hydrogel). B) Procedures of the detailed formation and transition of DNA hydrogel networks. (Image by Yafeng Wu)
The study entitled “Smart DNA Hydrogel Integrated Nanochannels with High Ion Flux and Adjustable Selective Ionic Transport” has been published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.