Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

DNA molecules used to assemble nanoparticles

24.01.2005


Dendrimer complex docking on cellular folate receptors. Image: Michigan Center for Biologic Nanotechnology


University of Michigan researchers have developed a faster, more efficient way to produce a wide variety of nanoparticle drug delivery systems, using DNA molecules to bind the particles together.

Nanometer-scaled dendrimers can be assembled in many configurations by using attached lengths of single-stranded DNA molecules, which naturally bind to other DNA strands in a highly specific fashion. "With this approach, you can target a wide variety of molecules---drugs, contrast agents---to almost any cell," said Dr. James R. Baker Jr., the Ruth Dow Doan Professor of Nanotechnology and director of the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology at U-M. Nanoparticle complexes can be specifically targeted to cancer cells and are small enough to enter a diseased cell, either killing it from within or sending out a signal to identify it. But making the particles is notoriously difficult and time-consuming.

The nanoparticle system used by Baker’s lab is based on dendrimers, star-like synthetic polymers that can carry a vast array of molecules on the ends of their arms. It is possible to build a single dendrimer carrying many different kinds of molecules such as contrast agents and drugs, but the synthesis process is long and difficult, requiring months for each new molecule added to the dendrimer in sequential steps. And the yield of useful particles drops with each successive step of synthesis.



For a paper published Jan. 21 in the journal Chemistry and Biology, U-M Biomedical Engineering graduate student Youngseon Choi built nanoparticle clusters of two different functional dendrimers, one designed for imaging and the other for targeting cancer cells. Each of the dendrimers also carried a single-stranded, non-coding DNA synthesized by Choi.

In a solution of two different kinds of single dendrimers, these dangling lengths of DNA, typically 34-66 bases long, found complementary sequences on other dendrimers and knitted together, forming barbell shaped two-dendrimer complexes with folate on one end and fluorescence on the other end. Folate receptors are over-expressed on the surface of cancer cells, so these dendrimer clusters would tend to flock to the diseased cells. The other end of the complex carries a fluorescent protein so that the researchers can track their movement.

A series of experiments using cell sorters, 3-D microscopes and other tools verified that these dendrimers hit their targets, were admitted into the cells and gave off their signaling light. The self-assembled dendrimer clusters were shown to be well formed and functional. "This is the proof-of-concept experiment," Choi said. But now that the assembly system has been worked out, other forms of dendrimer clusters are in the works. "If you wanted to make a therapeutic that targeted five drugs to five different cells, it would be 25 synthesis steps the traditional way," Baker said. At two to three months per synthesis, and a significant loss of yield for each step, that approach just wouldn’t be practical.

Instead, the Baker group will create a library of single-functional dendrimers that can be synthesized in parallel, rather than sequentially, and then linked together in many different combinations with the DNA strands. "So it’s like having a shelf full of Tinker Toys," Baker said.

An array of single-functional dendrimers, such as targets, drugs, and contrast agents, and the ability to link them together quickly and easily in many different ways would enable a clinic to offer 25 different "flavors" of dendrimer with only ten synthesis steps, Baker said.

Baker foresees a nanoparticle cluster in which a single dendrimer carries three single-strands of DNA, each with a sequence specific to the DNA attached to other kinds of dendrimers. Put into solution with these other tinker toys, the molecule would self-assemble into a four-dendrimer complex carrying one drug, one target, and one fluorescent.

Karl Leif Bates | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://nano.med.umich.edu
http://lifesciences.umich.edu
http://www.chembiol.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular Force Sensors
20.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht Foster tadpoles trigger parental instinct in poison frogs
20.09.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>