COVID-19 Response: Local Logistics     National Effort       

DNA based Molecular Switches and Uses thereof

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COVID-19 Response: Local Logistics     National Effort

The Novel Technology

The present invention describes a novel DNA structure, poly deoxyadenosine (dA) helix, referred here as “A-motif”. This reversible new structural ‘A motif’ functions as a molecular switch, which at low pH forms a parallel-stranded double helix and at neutral pH exists as a structured, single helix. This would enable to ‘switch on and off’ DNA base pairing using a pH trigger.


  • To measure the pH of a sample in vitro or in vivo
  • To use A-motif based switches as diagnostic tool (for eg: Lysosomal storage disorder)
  • To self-assemble and dis-assemble nanoscale DNA architectures
  • To site-specifically and reversibly glue pre-structured DNA assemblies
  • To use assemblies as logic gates in DNA based computation strategies
  • To incorporate a-motif overhangs in 3D DNA Polyhedra to use as targetable drug delivery agents


  • A-motif structures are simple to construct, consist of one type of DNA base
  • Minimizes interference in larger DNA assembly
  • Non-toxic and easily integrated

Business Model:

Early stage technology and currently looking for industrial partners to further develop this technology.

Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Yamuna Krishnan, NCBS
Invention ID: CMP-019
IP Status:  US Patent Granted
Jurisdictions: United States (US)
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