Effect of physiological media on the stability of surface adsorbed DNA-dendron-gold nanoparticles

Singh, Baljit, Hussain, Nasir, Sakthivel, Thiagarajan and Florence, Alexander T. (2003) Effect of physiological media on the stability of surface adsorbed DNA-dendron-gold nanoparticles. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 55(12), pp. 1635-1640. ISSN (print) 0022-3573


Plasmid DNA was adsorbed onto 87-nm gold nanoparticles to which were adsorbed a layer of novel cationic dendrons. The behaviour of this DNA-dendron-gold system in cell culture media has been described. Adsorption onto the gold nanoparticles of lipophilic cationic dendrons, with either 8 [(C12)(3)Lys7(NH2)(8)] or 16 [(C12)(3)Lys15(NH2)(16)] free amino groups on their outer surfaces and incorporating a nuclear localization signal peptide (NLS), resulted in positively charged nanoparticles with a corresponding small increase in particle size. Evidence suggested that the interaction between the gold nanoparticles and the dendron was mediated by hydrophobic forces. With an increase in ionic strength, the apparent particle size of the dendron-stabilized-gold particles increased, but at higher salt concentrations than plain gold sols. Addition of plasmid DNA did not markedly reduce the surface potential of the dendron-gold complex but resulted in an approximately 10-20% increase in hydro-dynamic diameter. Increasing ionic strength increased the apparent size of the DNA-dendron-gold particles, up to a maximum diameter of approximately 900 nm. Importantly, in cell culture media the size of the DNA-dendron-gold nanoparticles increased markedly, as surface potential was reduced. The presence of serum components partially ameliorated these effects, possibly due to steric stabilization of the particles. Release of the DNA from the complex was compromised in cell culture media (compared with water). This, coupled with the flocculation of the carrier, demonstrated the importance of testing delivery systems in the presence of relevant physiologically based fluids before cell culture or in-vivo studies.

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