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 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,700+ 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
Open Source Seed Initiative – A Welcome Boost to Global Crop Breeding
A team of plant breeders, farmers, non-profit agencies, seed advocates, and policymakers have created the Open Source Seed Initiative.
ASMS 2016: Targeting Mass Spectrometry Tools for the Masses
The expanding application range of MS in life sciences, food, energy, and health sciences research was highlighted at this year's ASMS meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
Benchtop Automation Trends
Gain a better understanding of current interest in and future deployment of benchtop automated systems.
Anthrax Proteins Might Help Treat Cancerous Tumors
Studies in mice reveal novel treatment regimen.
New Cancer Drug Target Found in Dual-Function Protein
Findings from a study from TSRI have shown that targeting a protein called GlyRS might help to halt cancer growth.
Key to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is in Your Gut, Not Head
Researchers report they have identified biological markers of the disease in gut bacteria and inflammatory microbial agents in the blood.
HIV Structure Stabilized
Findings represent ‘big accomplishment’ in biomedical engineering and design.
Four Newly-Identified Genes Could Improve Rice
A Japanese research team have applied a method used in human genetic analysis to rice and rapidly discovered four new genes that are potentially significant for agriculture. These findings could influence crop breeding and help combat food shortages caused by a growing population.
New Cancer Drug Target in Dual-Function Protein
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified a protein that launches cancer growth and appears to contribute to higher mortality in breast cancer patients.
Antibodies To Dengue May Alter Course Of Zika Virus Infection
Scientists at Emory Vaccine Center, in collaboration with investigators from Thailand, have found that people infected with dengue virus develop antibodies that cross-react with Zika virus.
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
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!