Green solid films with tunable mechanical properties made from deoxyribonucleic acid

2014年3月14日 NPG Asia Materials 6, e3 (2014) doi:10.1038/am.2014.4



Jie Zhan, Hisao Matsuno*, Hiroyasu Masunaga, Hiroki Ogawa & Keiji Tanaka*

DNA films: A matter of water
In recent years, DNA has proven to be a versatile material not only for applications in biomedicine but also — further from its natural function — as a reliable building block in materials engineering. Yet, little is known about its properties in the solid state. Hisao Matsuno, Keiji Tanaka and co-workers have now shown that DNA films make for structural materials with mechanical properties that can be tuned simply by varying the amount of water they contain. Drier films behave like glassy polymers; on wetting, the films become semi-crystalline and then rubber-like. By characterizing the films through infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction, the Japan-based team revealed that the tensile response arises from a structural change: with little water, the DNA double helices adopt the compact, right-handed A-form. With increasing water content, these convert to the more well-known B-form. Furthermore, they pack more densely under stretching.


NPG Asia Materials ISSN 1884-4049(Print) ISSN 1884-4057(Online)