The Role of Defects on the Assembly and Stability of DNA Nanostructures



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Defects are known to underlie the mechanical properties of materials, especially so at the nanoscale. Using four compositionally identical DNA triangles, defect density is found to be inversely correlated with assembly efficiency and melting temperature. These findings are supported by a series of experiments with more complex DNA pyramids. Because they are naturally responsive to stresses, defects present an attractive opportunity as design elements for responsive DNA materials.