In this paper we describe the use of a temperature-responsive polymer to regulate DNA interactions in both a DNA-mediated assembly system and a DNA-encoded drug delivery system. A thermoresponsive pNIPAAm-co-pAAm polymer, with a transition temperature (TC) of 51 C, was synthesized with thiol modification and grafted onto gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) also containing single-stranded oligonucleotides (ssDNA). The thermoresponsive behavior of the polymer regulated the accessibility of the sequence-specific hybridization between complementary DNA-functionalized Au NPs. At T < TC, the polymer was hydrophilic and extended, blocking interaction between the complementary sequences at the periphery of the hydrodynamic diameter. In contrast, at T > TC, the polymer shell undergoes a hydrophilic to -phobic phase transition and collapses, shrinking below the outer ssDNA, allowing for the sequence-specific hybridization to occur. The potential application of this dynamic interface for drug delivery is shown, in which the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin (DOX) is bound to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA)-functionalized Au NPs whose sequences are known to be high-affinity intercalation points for it. The presence of the polymer capping is shown to decrease drug release kinetics and equilibrium at T < TC, but increase release at T > TC, thus improving the cytotoxicity of the encoded nanocarrier design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Materials Science
- General Engineering
- General Physics and Astronomy