Summary: A novel method for the encapsulation of biomacromolecules, such as nucleic acids and proteins, into polyelectrolyte microcapsules is described. Fluorescence-labelled double-stranded DNA and human serum albumin (HSA) are used as model substances for encapsulation in hollow microcapsules templated on human erythrocytes. The encapsulation procedure involves an intermediate drying step. The accumulation of DNA and HSA in the capsules is observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy, UV spectroscopy, and fluorimetry. The mechanism of encapsulation is discussed.
Confocal fluorescence microscopy images of encapsulated TRITC-HSA (left) and dsDNA (right). Inserts demonstrate fluorescence profiles for both compounds.