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Title: DNA origami structures for artificial light-harvesting and optical voltage sensing
Author: Hemmig, Elisa Alina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 5687
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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In the past decade, DNA origami self-assembly has been widely applied for creating customised nanostructures with base-pair precision. In this technique, the unique chemical addressability of DNA can be harnessed to create programmable architectures, using components ranging from dye or protein molecules to metallic nanoparticles. In this thesis, we apply DNA nanotechnology for developing novel light-harvesting and optical voltage sensing nano-devices. We use the programmable positioning of dye molecules on a DNA origami plate as a mimic of a light-harvesting antenna complex required for photosynthesis. Such a structure allows us to systematically analyse optimal design concepts using different dye arrangements. Complementary to this, we use the resistive-pulse sensing technique in a range of electrolytes to characterise the mechanical responses of DNA origami structures to the electric field applied. Based on this knowledge, we assemble voltage responsive DNA origami structures labelled with a FRET pair. These undergo controlled structural changes upon application of an electric field that can be detected through a change in FRET efficiency. Such a DNA-based device could ultimately be used as a sensitive voltage sensor for live-cell imaging of transmembrane potentials.
Supervisor: Keyser, Ulrich F. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: DNA nanotechnology ; DNA origami ; single-molecule FRET ; nanocapillary ; nanopore ; artificial light-harvesting ; self-assembly ; optical voltage measurements