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Coating and Stabilization of Liposomes by Clathrin-Inspired DNA Self-Assembly

Baumann, K.N.; Piantanida, L.; García-Nafría, J.; Sobota, D.; Voïtchovsky, K.; Knowles, T.P.J.; Hernández-Ainsa, S.

Coating and Stabilization of Liposomes by Clathrin-Inspired DNA Self-Assembly Thumbnail


K.N. Baumann

L. Piantanida

J. García-Nafría

D. Sobota

T.P.J. Knowles

S. Hernández-Ainsa


The self-assembly of the protein clathrin on biological membranes facilitates essential processes of endocytosis and has provided a source of inspiration for materials design by the highly ordered structural appearance. By mimicking the architecture of the protein building blocks and clathrin self-assemblies to coat liposomes with biomaterials, advanced hybrid carriers can be derived. Here we present a method for fabricating DNA-coated liposomes by hydrophobically anchoring and subsequently connecting DNA-based triskelion structures on the liposome surface inspired by the assembly of the protein clathrin. Dynamic light scattering, ζ-potential, confocal microscopy and cryo-electron microscopy measurements independently demonstrate successful DNA coating. Nanomechanical measurements conducted with atomic force microscopy show that the DNA coating enhances the mechanical stability of the liposomes relative to uncoated ones. Furthermore, we provide the possibility to reverse the coating process by triggering the disassembly of the DNA coats through a toehold-mediated displacement reaction. Our results describe a straightforward, versatile, and reversible approach for coating and stabilizing lipid vesicles through the assembly of rationally designed DNA structures. This method has potential for further development towards the ordered arrangement of tailored functionalities on the surface of liposomes and for applications as hybrid nanocarrier.


Baumann, K., Piantanida, L., García-Nafría, J., Sobota, D., Voïtchovsky, K., Knowles, T., & Hernández-Ainsa, S. (2020). Coating and Stabilization of Liposomes by Clathrin-Inspired DNA Self-Assembly. ACS Nano, 14(2), 2316-2323.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 24, 2020
Publication Date Feb 25, 2020
Deposit Date Feb 3, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 24, 2021
Journal ACS Nano
Print ISSN 1936-0851
Electronic ISSN 1936-086X
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 2
Pages 2316-2323


Accepted Journal Article (607 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS nano copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see

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