Building model membrane channels with DNA origami

The double-helix structure of DNA arises from specific interactions between four nucleobases that encode genetic information. However, in recent years it has been shown that it is possible to exploit these specific base-pairing interactions to fold DNA into different structures, more complex than just a simple double helix. This is the basis of a technique called DNA origami, which allows us to design and build structures at nanometre lengthscales with extremely high precision.

We are interested in using DNA origami to build channels with controlled structures that can be used as nanoscale model systems with which to probe ionic and molecular transport. In particular, our current focus is towards fully understanding the behaviour of these origami channels in solution in order to design the most effective model systems for these studies.