Nano Archive

A general approach for DNA encapsulation in degradable polymer microcapsules

Zelikin, Alexander N. and Becker, Alisa L. and Johnston, Angus P. R. and Wark, Kim L. and Turatti, Fabio and Caruso, Frank (2007) A general approach for DNA encapsulation in degradable polymer microcapsules. ACS NANO, 1 (1). pp. 63-69.

Full text is not hosted in this archive but may be available via the Official URL, or by requesting a copy from the corresponding author.

Official URL:


We report a general and facile method for the encapsulation of DNA in nanoengineered, degradable polymer microcapsules. Single-stranded (ss), linear double-stranded (ds), and plasmid DNA were encapsulated into disulfide-cross-linked poly(methacrylic acid) (PMA) capsules. The encapsulation procedure involves four steps: adsorption of DNA onto amine-functionalized silica (SiO2+) particles; sequential deposition of thiolated PMA (PMASH) and poly(vinylpyrrolidone) to form multilayers; cross-linking of the thiol groups of the PMASH in the multilayers into disulfide linkages; and removal of the sacrificial SiO2+ particles. Multilayer growth was dependent on the surface coverage of DNA on the SiO2+ particles, with stable capsules formed from particles with up to 50% DNA surface coverage. The encapsulation strategy applies to nucleic acids with varied size and conformation and allows DNA to be concentrated over 100-fold from dilute solutions into monodisperse, uniformly loaded polymer capsules. The capsule loading can be controlled by the DNA:SiO2+particle ratio, and for 1 µm diameter capsules, loadings of ~1000 chains of 800 bp dsDNA and more than 10000 chains of 20-mer ssDNA can be achieved. The encapsulated DNA was released and successfully used in polymerase chain reactions as both templates (linear dsDNA and plasmid DNA) and primer sequences (ssDNA), confirming the functionality and structural integrity of the encapsulated DNA. These DNA-loaded polymer microcapsules hold promise as delivery vehicles for gene therapy and diagnostic applications.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:layer-by-layer; DNA encapsulation; disulfide cross-linking; degradable capsules; polymer assembly
Subjects:Biomedical Science > Nanobiotechnology
Material Science > Nanostructured materials
Material Science > Nanochemistry
ID Code:471
Deposited On:05 Dec 2008 16:35
Last Modified:14 Aug 2009 12:23

Repository Staff Only: item control page