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Photonic Nanoscale Automaton Based on Photo-/Heat-Regulated DNA Strand Displacement Reactions
Hiroto Sakai, Yusuke Ogura and Jun Tanida

We design and experimentally demonstrate DNA-based photonic nanoscale automata that receive external optical signals as input and release a specific DNA strand as output. The automata are based on DNA strand displacement reactions that are controlled by light inputs and triggered thermally. Photo-regulation is achieved by tethering azobenzene molecules, which are sensitive to visible and ultraviolet light, to DNA strands. Heat regulation occurs by heat-driven melting and reforming of the DNA strand’s loop structure. The design allows implementation of various types of computations according to optical signals. We constructed four kinds of two-state automata and investigated their behavior. Repetition of 10 state transitions was successful at a nearly constant signal-to-noise ratio.

Keywords: DNA strand displacement reaction, photonic DNA automaton, azobenzene.

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