DNA origami "quick" refolding inside of a micron-sized compartment

Taiki Watanabe, Yusuke Sato, Hayato Otaka, Ibuki Kawamata, Satoshi Murata, Shin Ichiro M. Nomura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Investigations into the refolding of DNA origami leads to the creation of reconstructable nanostructures and deepens our understanding of the sustainability of life. Here, we report the refolding of the DNA origami structure inside a micron-sized compartment. In our experiments, conventional DNA origami and truss-type DNA origami were annealed and purified to remove the excess staples in a test tube. The DNA origami was then encapsulated inside of a micron-sized compartment of water-in-oil droplets, composed of neutral surfactants. The re-annealing process was then performed to initiate refolding in the compartment. The resulting 100-nm-sized DNA nanostructures were observed using atomic force microscopy (AFM), and the qualities of their structures were evaluated based on their shape. We found that the refolding of the DNA origami structure was favored inside the droplets compared with refolding in bulk solution. The refolded structures were able to fold even under "quick" one-minute annealing conditions. In addition, the smaller droplets (average diameter: 1.2 μm) appeared to be more advantageous for the refolding of the origamis than larger droplets. These results are expected to contribute to understanding the principles of life phenomena based on multimolecular polymer self-assembly in a micron-sized compartment, and for the production and maintenance of artificially designed molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • DNA origami
  • Microcompartment
  • Refolding


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