Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
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 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,500+ 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.

Related Content

Chemist to Study ‘Orally Effective Therapy’ to Fight Obesity
A chemist has received a federal grant to study the oral administration of PYY3-36, a peptide that inhibits food intake by naturally switching off one's appetite.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Scientific News
The Rise of 3D Cell Culture and in vitro Model Systems for Drug Discovery and Toxicology
An overview of the current technology and the challenges and benefits over 2D cell culture models plus some of the latest advances relating to human health research.
Scientists Find Evidence That Cancer Can Arise Changes
Researchers at Rockefeller University have found a mutation that affects the proteins that package DNA without changing the DNA itself can cause a rare form of cancer.
Developing a More Precise Seasonal Flu Vaccine
During the 2014-15 flu season, the poor match between the virus used to make the world’s vaccine stocks and the circulating seasonal virus yielded a vaccine that was less than 20 percent effective.
A Peachy Defense System for Seeds
ETH chemists are developing a new coating method to protect seeds from being eaten by insects. In doing so, they have drawn inspiration from the humble peach and a few of its peers.
Fighting Cancer with Borrowed Immunity
A new step in cancer immunotherapy: researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute and University of Oslo/Oslo University Hospital show that even if one's own immune cells cannot recognize and fight their tumors, someone else's immune cells might.
Modified Microalgae Converts Sunlight into Valuable Medicine
A special type of microalgae can soon produce valuable chemicals such as cancer treatment drugs and much more just by harnessing energy from the sun.
Breakthrough Approach to Breast Cancer Treatment
Scripps scientists have designed a drug candidate that decreases growth of breast cancer cells.
Loss Of Y Chromosome Increases Risk Of Alzheimer’s
Men with blood cells that do not carry the Y chromosome are at greater risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This is in addition to an increased risk of death from other causes, including many cancers. These new findings by researchers at Uppsala University could lead to a simple test to identify those at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Making Virus Sensors Cheap and Simple
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin demonstrated the ability to detect single viruses in a solution containing murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV).
A Guide to CRISPR Gene Activation
A comparison of synthetic gene-activating Cas9 proteins can help guide research and development of therapeutic approaches.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!