Packaging of DNA by shell crosslinked nanoparticles. Academic Article uri icon


  • We demonstrate compaction of DNA with nanoscale biomimetic constructs which are robust synthetic analogs of globular proteins. These constructs are approximately 15 nm in diameter, shell crosslinked knedel-like (SCKs) nanoparticles, which are prepared by covalent stabilization of amphiphilic di-block co-polymer micelles, self-assembled in an aqueous solution. This synthetic approach yields size-controlled nanoparticles of persistent shape and containing positively charged functional groups at and near the particle surface. Such properties allow SCKs to bind with DNA through electrostatic interactions and facilitate reduction of the DNA hydrodynamic diameter through reversible compaction. Compaction of DNA by SCKs was evident in dynamic light scattering experiments and was directly observed by in situ atomic force microscopy. Moreover, enzymatic digestion of the DNA plasmid (pBR322, 4361 bp) by Eco RI was inhibited at low SCK:DNA ratios and prevented when [le]60 DNA bp were bound per SCK. Digestion by Msp I in the presence of SCKs resulted in longer DNA fragments, indicating that not all enzyme cleavage sites were accessible within the DNA/SCK aggregates. These results have implications for the development of vehicles for successful gene therapy applications.

published proceedings

  • Nucleic Acids Res

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Thurmond, K. B., Remsen, E. E., Kowalewski, T., & Wooley, K. L.

citation count

  • 58

complete list of authors

  • Thurmond, KB||Remsen, EE||Kowalewski, T||Wooley, KL

publication date

  • July 1999