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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

First Step Towards Larger DNA-Based Assemblies of Fluorescent Silver Nanoclusters: Template Design and Detailed Characterization of Optical Properties

1
Department of Physics, University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE 68182, USA
2
Nanoimaging Core Facility at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA
3
Nanoscale Science Program, Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040613
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 7 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
Besides being a passive carrier of genetic information, DNA can also serve as an architecture template for the synthesis of novel fluorescent nanomaterials that are arranged in a highly organized network of functional entities such as fluorescent silver nanoclusters (AgNCs). Only a few atoms in size, the properties of AgNCs can be tuned using a variety of templating DNA sequences, overhangs, and neighboring duplex regions. In this study, we explore the properties of AgNCs manufactured on a short DNA sequence—an individual element designed for a construction of a larger DNA-based functional assembly. The effects of close proximity of the double-stranded DNA, the directionality of templating single-stranded sequence, and conformational heterogeneity of the template are presented. We observe differences between designs containing the same AgNC templating sequence—twelve consecutive cytosines, (dC)12. AgNCs synthesized on a single “basic” templating element, (dC)12, emit in “red”. The addition of double-stranded DNA core, required for the larger assemblies, changes optical properties of the silver nanoclusters by adding a new population of clusters emitting in “green”. A new population of “blue” emitting clusters forms only when ssDNA templating sequence is placed on the 5′ end of the double-stranded core. We also compare properties of silver nanoclusters, which were incorporated into a dimeric structure—a first step towards a larger assembly. View Full-Text
Keywords: silver nanoclusters; fluorescence; i-motif DNA; cytosine rich sequences silver nanoclusters; fluorescence; i-motif DNA; cytosine rich sequences
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yourston, L.E.; Lushnikov, A.Y.; Shevchenko, O.A.; Afonin, K.A.; Krasnoslobodtsev, A.V. First Step Towards Larger DNA-Based Assemblies of Fluorescent Silver Nanoclusters: Template Design and Detailed Characterization of Optical Properties. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 613. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040613

AMA Style

Yourston LE, Lushnikov AY, Shevchenko OA, Afonin KA, Krasnoslobodtsev AV. First Step Towards Larger DNA-Based Assemblies of Fluorescent Silver Nanoclusters: Template Design and Detailed Characterization of Optical Properties. Nanomaterials. 2019; 9(4):613. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040613

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yourston, Liam E.; Lushnikov, Alexander Y.; Shevchenko, Oleg A.; Afonin, Kirill A.; Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexey V. 2019. "First Step Towards Larger DNA-Based Assemblies of Fluorescent Silver Nanoclusters: Template Design and Detailed Characterization of Optical Properties" Nanomaterials 9, no. 4: 613. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040613

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