Orthogonally Photocontrolled Non‐Autonomous DNA Walker

Marko Škugor , Julian Valero Moreno*, Keiji Murayama , Mathias Centola, Hiroyuki Asanuma, Michael Famulok*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


There is considerable interest in developing progressively moving devices on the nanoscale, with the aim of using them as parts of programmable therapeutics, smart materials, and nanofactories. Present here is an entirely light‐induced DNA walker based on orthogonal photocontrol. Implementing two azobenzene derivatives, S‐DM‐Azo and DM‐Azo, enabled precise coordination of strand displacement reactions that powered a biped walker and guided it along a defined track in a non‐autonomous way. This unprecedented type of molecular walker design offers high precision control over the movement in back‐and‐forth directions as desired, and is regulated solely by the sequence of the irradiation wavelengths. This concept may open new avenues for advancing non‐autonomous progressive molecular motors, ultimately facilitating their application at the nanoscale.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Pages (from-to)6948-6951
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA
  • azo compounds
  • fluorescence
  • nanostructures
  • photochemistry


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