alexa Visualizing light-triggered release of molecules inside living cells.


Drug Designing: Open Access

Author(s): Huschka R, Neumann O, Barhoumi A, Halas NJ, Huschka R, Neumann O, Barhoumi A, Halas NJ

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Abstract The light-triggered release of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from gold nanoparticle-based, plasmon resonant vectors, such as nanoshells, shows great promise for gene delivery in living cells. Here we show that intracellular light-triggered release can be performed on molecules that associate with the DNA in a DNA host-guest complex bound to nanoshells. DAPI (4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole), a bright blue fluorescent molecule that binds reversibly to double-stranded DNA, was chosen to visualize this intracellular light-induced release process. Illumination of nanoshell-dsDNA-DAPI complexes at their plasmon resonance wavelength dehybridizes the DNA, releasing the DAPI molecules within living cells, where they diffuse to the nucleus and associate with the cell's endogenous DNA. The low laser power and irradiation times required for molecular release do not compromise cell viability. This highly controlled co-release of nonbiological molecules accompanying the oligonucleotides could have broad applications in the study of cellular processes and in the development of intracellular targeted therapies.
This article was published in Nano Lett and referenced in Drug Designing: Open Access

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