Single-Molecule Observation of the Photoregulated Conformational Dynamics of DNA Origami Nanoscissors

Elena M. Willner, Yuu Kamada, Yuki Suzuki, Tomoko Emura, Kumi Hidaka, Hendrik Dietz, Hiroshi Sugiyama, Masayuki Endo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate direct observation of the dynamic opening and closing behavior of photocontrollable DNA origami nanoscissors using high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM). First the conformational change between the open and closed state controlled by adjustment of surrounding salt concentration could be directly observed during AFM scanning. Then light-responsive moieties were incorporated into the nanoscissors to control these structural changes by photoirradiation. Using photoswitchable DNA strands, we created a photoresponsive nanoscissors variant and were able to distinguish between the open and closed conformations after respective irradiation with ultraviolet (UV) and visible (Vis) light by gel electrophoresis and AFM imaging. Additionally, these reversible changes in shape during photoirradiation were directly visualized using HS-AFM. Moreover, four photoswitchable nanoscissors were assembled into a scissor–actuator-like higher-order object, the configuration of which could be controlled by the open and closed switching induced by irradiation with UV and Vis light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15324-15328
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 27


  • DNA origami
  • nanostructures
  • photoswitches
  • self-assembly
  • single-molecule studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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