Programmed assembly of polymer-DNA conjugate nanoparticles with optical readout and sequence-specific activation of biorecognition

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Johannes P. Magnusson, Francisco Fernández-Trillo, Giovanna Sicilia, Sebastian G. Spain* and Cameron Alexander; Nanoscale, 2014, 6, 2368-2374. [DOI] [PDF] open access logo


Soft micellar nanoparticles can be prepared from DNA conjugates designed to assemble via base pairing such that strands containing a polymer corona and a cholesterol tail generate controlled supramolecular architecture. Functionalization of one DNA conjugate strand with a biorecognition ligand results in shielding of the ligand when in the micelle, while encoding of the DNA sequences with overhangs allows supramolecular unpacking by addition of a complementary strand and sequence-specific unshielding of the ligand. The molecular assembly/disassembly and ‘on–off’ switch of the recognition signal is visualized by FRET pair signalling, PAGE and a facile turbidimetric binding assay, allowing direct and amplified readout of nucleic acid sequence recognition.