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Chem 2016, 1(3), 473-481

Catalytic DNA-Functionalized Self-Propelled Micromachines for Environmental Remediation

Toward addressing mercury contamination, DNA-functionalized microtubes that can serve as the next generation of self-propelled catalytic micromachines to remove Hg(II) from aqueous solution are described. The microtubes, prepared via the electrodeposition method, are composed of an inner platinum catalytic surface for self-propulsion and a gold outer surface for functionalization with DNA. The highly specific and strong binding of Hg(II) to T-T mismatched pairs in DNA sequences confers the adsorption capability for Hg(II) on the microtubes. The efficient self-propulsion of these micromachines results in enhanced removal of Hg(II). The autonomous micromotor-based strategy provides a dynamic adsorption platform for decontamination of mercury-polluted water bodies.

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