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Title: Sequential self-assembly of DNA functionalized droplets

Complex structures and devices, both natural and manmade, are often constructed sequentially. From crystallization to embryogenesis, a nucleus or seed is formed and built upon. Sequential assembly allows for initiation, signaling, and logical programming, which are necessary for making enclosed, hierarchical structures. Though biology relies on such schemes, they have not been available in materials science. We demonstrate programmed sequential self-assembly of DNA functionalized emulsions. The droplets are initially inert because the grafted DNA strands are pre-hybridized in pairs. Active strands on initiator droplets then displace one of the paired strands and thus release its complement, which in turn activates the next droplet in the sequence, akin to living polymerization. This strategy provides time and logic control during the self-assembly process, and offers a new perspective on the synthesis of materials.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris (France). Inst. of Nanosciences Paris; New York Univ. (NYU), NY (United States). Center for Soft Matter Research
  2. New York Univ. (NYU), NY (United States). Center for Soft Matter Research
  3. New York Univ. (NYU), NY (United States). Chemistry Dept.
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
New York Univ. (NYU), NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; bioinspired materials; colloids; self-assembly
OSTI Identifier: