Controlled Trapping and Release of Quantum Dots in a DNA-Switchable Hydrogel


  • We thank R. Sperling and W. J. Parak for supplying us with quantum dots, T. Schubert for tracking software, and J. O. Rädler, N. A. Langrana, R. A. Neher, and M. Rief for helpful discussions. This work was funded by the IDK-NBT, the DFG (Emmy Noether Grant to FCS and Nanosystems Initiative Munich), and the Bavarian StMWFK (Neue Werkstoffe).


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Entrapment: Trapping and releasing (see figure) nanoparticles has never before been as easily controlled as with these novel DNA-crosslinked hydrogels. The diffusion properties of fluorescent semiconductor nanoparticles in these DNA-switchable hydrogels is studied using single-quantum-dot tracking and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. The diameter of the trapped nanoparticles can be much smaller than the mean pore size and therefore these switchable materials open new avenues for the controlled release of nanoscale agents.