Hierarchically assembled theranostic nanostructures for siRNA delivery and imaging applications.
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Dual functional hierarchically assembled nanostructures, with two unique functions of carrying therapeutic cargo electrostatically and maintaining radiolabeled imaging agents covalently within separate component building blocks, have been developed via the supramolecular assembly of several spherical cationic shell cross-linked nanoparticles clustered around a central anionic shell cross-linked cylinder. The shells of the cationic nanoparticles and the hydrophobic core domain of the anionic central cylindrical nanostructure of the assemblies were utilized to complex negatively charged nucleic acids (siRNA) and to undergo radiolabeling, respectively, for potential theranostic applications. The assemblies exhibited exceptional cell transfection and radiolabeling efficiencies, providing an overall advantage over the individual components, which could each facilitate only one or the other of the functions.