Photocrosslinked DNA Nanospheres for Drug Delivery



DNA has been employed as both a genetic and a generic material. X-shaped DNA (X-DNA) in particular has four branched arms, providing multivalent functionalities that can allow for simultaneous multiple crosslinking. Here we report the synthesis of four acrylate-functionalized X-DNA monomers that can be further photocrosslinked to form monodisperse and tunable DNA nanospheres. In particular, the size and surface charge of these nanospheres were precisely controlled in a linear fashion, simply by tuning the monomer concentration in the reaction. The morphology and surface properties of the nanospheres were characterized using FT-IR, HPLC, TEM, AFM, zeta potential, and DLS analysis. In vitro studies in mammalian cells revealed that these DNA nanospheres demonstrated significant efficacy in the delivery of doxorubicin. These results highlight the potential of using DNA as material building blocks to design novel nanocarriers with properties tailored for the delivery of drugs in general and DNA/RNA in particular.

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