Physical Chemistry

Lund University

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Condensing DNA with cationic dendrimers: means of controlling aggregate morphology and membrane penetration

Dynamic light scattering, cryogenic TEM and steady-state fluorescence spectroscopy are utilized to investigate the interaction between cationic poly(amido amine) (PAMAM) dendrimers and double stranded DNA. This systematic study reveals how the size, composition and morphology of aggregates formed between DNA and PAMAM dendrimers are affected by dendrimer size and charge. In gene therapy one often utilizes vehicles with the ability to condense DNA and thereby protect DNA against degradation, transport DNA across membranes as well as regulate gene expression. One such compacting agent is dendrimers. We have found that the compacting agent not only condenses the DNA chain, but can also on its one be transported across a model membrane. This might help the complex to be transported across the membrane. We are investigating the conditions, such as membrane and dendrimer properties, under which this occurs using ellipsometry, QCM-D, neutron reflectometry and different fluorescence techniques.

People: Marianna Yanez, Marie-Louise Ainalem (ESS AB), Syma Khaled (University of Southampton), Anna Carnerup, John Janiak, Viveka AlfredssonTommy Nylander, Dan Lundberg, Karin Schillén.

Contact Persons: Karin SchillénTommy Nylander