Controlled Organization of Inorganic Materials Using Biological Molecules for Activating Therapeutic Functionalities

M Chandler and B Minevich and B Roark and M Viard and MB Johnson and MH Rizvi and TA Deaton and S Kozlov and M Panigaj and JB Tracy and YG Yingling and O Gang and KA Afonin, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 13, 39030-39041 (2021).

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.1c09230

Precise control over the assembly of biocompatible three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures would allow for programmed interactions within the cellular environment. Nucleic acids can be used as programmable crosslinkers to direct the assembly of quantum dots (QDs) and tuned to demonstrate different interparticle binding strategies. Morphologies of self-assembled QDs are evaluated via gel electrophoresis, transmission electron microscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, and dissipative particle dynamics simulations, with all results being in good agreement. The controlled assembly of 3D QD organizations is demonstrated in cells via the colocalized emission of multiple assembled QDs, and their immunorecognition is assessed via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. RNA interference inducers are also embedded into the interparticle binding strategy to be released in human cells only upon QD assembly, which is demonstrated by specific gene silencing. The programmability and intracellular activity of QD assemblies offer a strategy for nucleic acids to imbue the structure and therapeutic function into the formation of complex networks of nanostructures, while the photoluminescent properties of the material allow for optical tracking in cells in vitro.

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