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DNA gel particles and cross-linked DNA gels

Through an interfacial diffusion mechanism DNA particles were prepared and studied with respect to internal structure and DNA release. A large difference in internal structure between different DNA conformations for surfactant systems point to the role of hydrophobic interactions. Release properties of the gel particles, which can be manufactured in the size range from 100 nm to mm, are investigated. DNA gel particles are made from mixtures of DNA with cationic surfactants, proteins and polymers and also for other polymers. DNA molecules, both single- and double-stranded, have been covalently cross-linked to form chemical gels. Addition of electrolytes causes a deswelling of the gels. From the volume changes the association of oppositely charged cosolutes with DNA can be monitored. For cationic surfactants a dramatic compaction is noted as well as the formation of different ordered microstructures. An extensive comparative study of the deswelling of both ss- and ds-DNA gels on addition of several cosolutes- metal ions of different valency, proteins, polyamines and other polycations and cationic surfactants- have been performed. Both thermodynamic and kinetic aspects, as well as reversibility of volume changes, have been considered. The release of DNA and incorporated proteins are investigated, in particular related to triggering release. 

People:Björn Lindman, Carmen Morán (Univ. Barcelona), Diana Costa (Univ. Beira Interior) and Maria Miguel (Coimbra University) 

Contact person: Björn Lindman