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Crystals 2018, 8(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst8010005

Liquid Crystal Ordering of Four-Base-Long DNA Oligomers with Both G–C and A–T Pairing

1
Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Mediche e Medicina Traslazionale, Università di Milano, via Fratelli Cervi 93, I-20090 Segrate, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Scienze Umane e Promozione della Qualità della Vita, Università Telematica San Raffaele di Roma, via di Val Cannuta, 247, I-00166 Roma, Italy
3
Department of Physics and Soft Materials Research Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0390, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Liquid Crystals)
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Abstract

We report the liquid crystal (LC) ordering in an aqueous solution of four-base-long DNA oligomers 5′-GCTA-3′. In such systems, the formation of the chiral nematic (N*) LC phase is the result of a continuous self-assembly process in which double helix stability is achieved only through linear chaining of multiple DNA strands. The thermal stability of the aggregates and their LC phase diagram have been experimentally investigated, quantitatively interpreted with theoretical models and compared with recent results on four-base sequences with only G–C or only A–T pairing motifs. N* phase is found at GCTA concentration, cDNA, between 240 and 480 mg/mL and at temperature T < 30 °C. The twist of the nematic director is found to be left-handed with pitch (p) in the optical range, increasing with cDNA and decreasing with T. View Full-Text
Keywords: cholesteric liquid crystals; self-assembly; DNA nanotechnology; DNA oligomers; origin of life cholesteric liquid crystals; self-assembly; DNA nanotechnology; DNA oligomers; origin of life
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Fraccia, T.P.; Smith, G.P.; Clark, N.A.; Bellini, T. Liquid Crystal Ordering of Four-Base-Long DNA Oligomers with Both G–C and A–T Pairing. Crystals 2018, 8, 5.

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