Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
RNAi
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Chemists Design ‘Smart’ Nanoparticles to Improve Drug Delivery, DNA Self-Assembly

Published: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Bookmark and Share
A team of chemists has used a temperature-sensitive polymer to regulate DNA interactions in both a DNA-mediated assembly system and a DNA-encoded drug-delivery system.

Their findings, led by Associate Professor Mathew M. Maye and graduate students Kristen Hamner and Colleen Alexander, may improve how nanomaterials self-assemble into functional devices and how anticancer drugs, including doxorubicin, are delivered into the body. More information is available in a July 30 article in ACS Nano, published by the American Chemical Society.

One area of nanoscience that connects a range of fields—including optics, chemical sensing and drug delivery and treatment—is the self-assembly of nanoparticles. During self-assembly, the chemistry attached to the nanoparticle interface drives a reaction. As a result, particles come together to form a solid, a chai or a small molecule-like cluster.

Maye and others have recently figured out how to use DNA linkages to create an array of structures. The reactions are fast and stable, he says, but can also be problematic.

“For example, we want to know how to turn a reaction on and off, without tedious changes to the procedure,” says Maye. “We’ve been addressing this problem by providing a thermal trigger in the form of a smart polymer, which changes its structure at the nano level.”

A smart polymer is a large molecule, made up of many atomic units, that changes structure when exposed to external stimuli, such as light, acidity or temperature.

Maye and his colleagues have synthesized a designer polymer that not only reacts to temperature, but also may be assembled to a gold nanoparticle. The novelty of this approach, he says, is that the nanoparticle possesses short segments of single-stranded DNA.

“This multipurpose functionality and added 'smart' component are indicative of where nanoscience is going,” says Maye. “We want nanomaterials to perform many tasks at once, and we want to be able to turn their interactions on and off remotely.”

Maye’s team, therefore, has designed a system in which a high temperature (e.g., 50 degrees Celsius) causes polymer strands to shrink, thereby exposing and making them operational, and a low temperature causes them to extend, blocking their DNA recognition properties.

Maye says that, in one test, self-assembly between complementary DNA nanoparticles occurred at only a high temperature. In a second study, his team found that heat triggered the release of doxorubicin at the DNA shell of the encoded nanocarrier.

Recently invented by Maye and his SU colleagues, the nanocarrier boasts a six-fold increase in toxicity, compared to ones used in previous studies.

“What’s novel about this approach is that interparticle linkages are dynamic and reconfigurable,” Maye says. “Such reconfiguration may lead to smart solids and metamaterials that react to environmental stimuli, much the same way smart polymers react in bulk.”

Maye and his team have also employed a number of advanced techniques to better understand the mechanisms of their system, including dynamic light scattering and small-angle X-ray scattering.

“Being able to control nanoparticle assembly with temperature allows us to fine-tune their reactions and form more predictable structures. It also gives us a more improved system in which to scale assembly,” he says.

Maye goes on to explain that for DNA-encoded nanoparticles, such classes of particles are an excellent platform for drug delivery: “When combined with thermosensitive polymers such as the ones in our system, they could become very lucrative.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Blood Pressure Drug May Boost Effectiveness of Lung Cancer Treatment
Researchers at Imperial College London have suggested that the blood pressure drug may make a type of lung cancer treatment more effective.
Wearable Microscope Can Measure Fluorescent Dyes Through Skin
UCLA research could make monitoring disease biomarkers easier and more cost-effective.
Potential of New Insect Control Traits in Agriculture
Researchers have discovered a protein that shows promise as an alternate corn rootworm control mechanism.
Fighting Cancer with Sticky Nanoparticles
Treatment that uses bioadhesive nanoparticles drug carriers proved more effective than conventional treatments for certain cancers.
Fighting Plant Pathogens with RNA
Researchers develop strategy that could lead to environmentally friendly fungicide to fight pathogens.
Smart Material Hunts Cancers
Team has created smart material that locates and images cancer or tumour sites in tissue.
Examining mtDNA May Help Identify Unknown Ancestry That Influences Breast Cancer Risk
Researchers studying mtDNA in a group of triple negative breast cancer patients found that 13 percent of participants were unaware of ancestry that could influence their risk of cancer.
Gene Therapy Technique May Help Prevent Cancer Metastasis
Gene-regulating RNA molecules could help treat early-stage breast cancer tumors before they spread.
Enhancing Antibiotics to Defeat Resistant Bacteria
Scientists enhance ability of antibiotics to defeat resistant types of bacteria using molecules called PPMOs
MRI Guidance Aids Stem Cell Delivery
Scientists have delivered stem cells to the brain with unprecedented precision, infusing the cells under real-time MRI guidance.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!