Dynamic Programming of a DNA Walker Controlled by Protons

Dongbao Yao, Sanchita Bhadra, Erhu Xiong, Haojun Liang, Andrew D. Ellington, Cheulhee Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


We have now constructed a four-legged DNA walker based on toehold exchange reactions whose movement is controlled by alternating pH changes. A well-characterized, pH-responsive CG-C+ triplex DNA was embedded into a tetrameric catalytic hairpin assembly (CHA) walker. The proton-controlled walker could autonomously move on otherwise unprogrammed microparticles surface, and the walking rate and steps of walking were efficiently controlled by pH. The starting and stopping of the walker, and its association and dissociation from the microparticles, could also be dynamically controlled by pH. The simple, programmable, and robust nature of this proton-controlled walker now provides the impetus for the development of a wide variety of more practical nanomachines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4007-4013
Number of pages7
JournalACS nano
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 28


  • catalytic hairpin assembly
  • dynamic control
  • four-legged DNA walker
  • microparticle
  • pH-responsive triplex DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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