We present a combined approach that relies on computational simulations and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) measurements to reveal morphological properties and stability criteria of carbon nanotube-DNA (CNT-DNA) constructs. Application of STM allows direct observation of very stable CNT-DNA hybrid structures with the well-defined DNA wrapping angle of 63.4 ° and a coiling period of 3.3 nm. Using force field simulations, we determine how the DNA-CNT binding energy depends on the sequence and binding geometry of a single strand DNA. This dependence allows us to quantitatively characterize the stability of a hybrid structure with an optimal π-stacking between DNA nucleotides and the tube surface and better interpret STM data. Our simulations clearly demonstrate the existence of a very stable DNA binding geometry for (6,5) CNT as evidenced by the presence of a well-defined minimum in the binding energy as a function of an angle between DNA strand and the nanotube chiral vector. This novel approach demonstrates the feasibility of CNT-DNA geometry studies with subnanometer resolution and paves the way towards complete characterization of the structural and electronic properties of drug-delivering systems based on DNA-CNT hybrids as a function of DNA sequence and a nanotube chirality.
Kilina, S., Yarotski, D. A., Talin, A. A., Tretiak, S., Taylor, A. J., & Balatsky, A. V. (2011). Unveiling Stability Criteria of DNA-Carbon Nanotubes Constructs by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Computational Modeling. Journal of Drug Delivery, 2011, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1155/2011/415621