In this article, we synthesized a type of DNA amphiphiles (called DNA-lipids) and systematically studied its assembly behavior at the liquid crystal (LC)—aqueous interface. It turned out that the pure DNA-lipids at various concentrations cannot trigger the optical transition of liquid crystals from planar anchoring to homeotropic anchoring at the liquid crystal—aqueous interface. The co-assembly of DNA-lipid and l
-dilauroyl phosphatidylcholine (l
-DLPC) indicated that the DLPC assembled all over the LC-aqueous interface, and DNA-lipids prefer to couple with LC in certain areas, particularly in polarized and fluorescent image, forming micron sized net-like structures. The addition of DNA complementary to DNA-lipids forming double stranded DNA-lipids caused de-assembly of DNA-lipids from LC-aqueous interface, resulting in the disappearance of net-like structures, which can be visualized through polarized microscope. The optical changes combined with DNA unique designable property and specific interaction with wide range of target molecules, the DNA-lipids decorated LC-aqueous interface would provide a new platform for biological sensing and diagnosis.
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