Designing stimulus-sensitive colloidal walkers

Francisco J. Martinez-Veracoechea, Bortolo M. Mognetti, Stefano Angioletti-Uberti, Patrick Varilly, Daan Frenkel, Jure Dobnikar
  • Soft Matter, January 2014, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • DOI: 10.1039/c3sm53096e

Walking colloids

What is it about?

We study DNA-coated colloids capable of reversible binding to surface receptors. When there is a gradient of receptor density, the colloids "walk" along the surface. We show that there is an optimal number of DNA "legs" and of the binding strength for efficient transport. We also design DNA sequences that can bind to two types of surface receptors with relative binding strength controlled by temperature. In this way, we can use external stimuli to control the direction of colloidal transport.

Why is it important?

We present the mechanism where formation and breaking of bonds at the nanometer range drives the transport of micron-size load. We show that the transport can be enthalpy or entropy driven. Using external stimuli to control the direction of particle transport, it is possible to design applications for characterizing the colloidal functionalization.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Jure Dobnikar

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