The evolution of crystallite size and microstrain in DNA-mediated nanoparticle superlattices is dictated by annealing temperature and the flexibility of the interparticle bonds. This work addresses a major challenge in synthesizing optical metamaterials based upon noble metal nanoparticles by enabling the crystallization of large nanoparticles (100 nm diameter) at high volume fractions (34% metal).
Nanoparticles of a metal-organic framework (MOF), UiO-66-N3 (Zr6O4OH4(C8H3O4-N3)6), were synthesized. The surface of the MOF was covalently functionalized with oligonucleotides, utilizing a strain promoted click reaction between DNA appended with dibenzylcyclooctyne and azide-functionalized UiO-66-N3 to create the first MOF nanoparticle-nucleic acid conjugates. The structure of the framework was preserved throughout the chemical transformation, and the surface coverage of DNA was quantified. Due to the small pore sizes, the particles are only modified on their surfaces. When dispersed in aqueous NaCl, they exhibit increased stability and enhanced cellular uptake when compared with unfunctionalized MOF particles of comparable size.
Colloidal self-assembly predominantly results in lattices that are either: (1) fixed in the solid state and not amenable to additional modification, or (2) in solution, capable of dynamic adjustment, but difficult to transition to other environments. Accordingly, approaches to both dynamically adjust the interparticle spacing of nanoparticle superlattices and reversibly transfer superlattices between solution-phase and solid state environments are limited. In this manuscript, we report the reversible contraction and expansion of nanoparticles within immobilized monolayers, surface-assembled superlattices, and free-standing single crystal superlattices through dehydration and subsequent rehydration. Interestingly, DNA contraction upon dehydration occurs in a highly uniform manner, which allows access to spacings as small as 4.6 nm and as much as a 63% contraction in the volume of the lattice. This enables one to deliberately control interparticle spacings over a 4-46 nm range and to preserve solution-phase lattice symmetry in the solid state. This approach could be of use in the study of distance-dependent properties of nanoparticle superlattices and for long-term superlattice preservation.
DNA and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) are co-assembled onto gold nanoparticles. The DNA sequences can be reversibly exposed or hidden from the polymer surface in response to temperature cues, thereby translating the temperature trigger to the on-off switching of the surface chemistry and function. When exposed by heating (?30 °C), the DNA rapidly hybridizes to complementary strands, and chain-end biotin groups become readily accessible, while at lower temperatures these activities are largely blocked.
The directed assembly of nanoparticle building blocks is a promising method for generating sophisticated three-dimensional materials by design. In this work, we have used DNA linkers to synthesize nanoparticle superlattices that have greater complexity than simple binary systems using the process of topotactic intercalation-the insertion of a third nanoparticle component at predetermined sites within a preformed binary lattice. Five distinct crystals were synthesized with this methodology, three of which have no equivalent in atomic or molecular crystals, demonstrating a general approach for assembling highly ordered ternary nanoparticle superlattices whose structures can be predicted before their synthesis. Additionally, the intercalation process was demonstrated to be completely reversible; the inserted nanoparticles could be expelled into solution by raising the temperature, and the ternary superlattice could be recovered by cooling.
Crystallization is a fundamental and ubiquitous process much studied over the centuries. But although the crystallization of atoms is fairly well understood, it remains challenging to predict reliably the outcome of molecular crystallization processes that are complicated by various molecular interactions and solvent involvement. This difficulty also applies to nanoparticles: high-quality three-dimensional crystals are mostly produced using drying and sedimentation techniques that are often impossible to rationalize and control to give a desired crystal symmetry, lattice spacing and habit (crystal shape). In principle, DNA-mediated assembly of nanoparticles offers an ideal opportunity for studying nanoparticle crystallization: a well-defined set of rules have been developed to target desired lattice symmetries and lattice constants, and the occurrence of features such as grain boundaries and twinning in DNA superlattices and traditional crystals comprised of molecular or atomic building blocks suggests that similar principles govern their crystallization. But the presence of charged biomolecules, interparticle spacings of tens of nanometres, and the realization so far of only polycrystalline DNA-interconnected nanoparticle superlattices, all suggest that DNA-guided crystallization may differ from traditional crystal growth. Here we show that very slow cooling, over several days, of solutions of complementary-DNA-modified nanoparticles through the melting temperature of the system gives the thermodynamic product with a specific and uniform crystal habit. We find that our nanoparticle assemblies have the Wulff equilibrium crystal structure that is predicted from theoretical considerations and molecular dynamics simulations, thus establishing that DNA hybridization can direct nanoparticle assembly along a pathway that mimics atomic crystallization.
Intracellular delivery of nucleic acids as gene regulation agents typically requires the use of cationic carriers or viral vectors, yet issues related to cellular toxicity or immune responses hamper their attractiveness as therapeutic candidates. The discovery that spherical nucleic acids (SNAs), polyanionic structures comprised of densely packed, highly oriented oligonucleotides covalently attached to the surface of nanoparticles, can effectively enter more than 50 different cell types presents a potential strategy for overcoming the limitations of conventional transfection agents. Unfortunately, little is known about the mechanism of endocytosis of SNAs, including the pathway of entry and specific proteins involved. Here, we demonstrate that the rapid cellular uptake kinetics and intracellular transport of SNAs stem from the arrangement of oligonucleotides into a 3D architecture, which supports their targeting of class A scavenger receptors and endocytosis via a lipid-raft-dependent, caveolae-mediated pathway. These results reinforce the notion that SNAs can serve as therapeutic payloads and targeting structures to engage biological pathways not readily accessible with linear oligonucleotides.
Nanoparticles can be combined with nucleic acids to programme the formation of three-dimensional colloidal crystals where the particles size, shape, composition and position can be independently controlled. However, the diversity of the types of material that can be used is limited by the lack of a general method for preparing the basic DNA-functionalized building blocks needed to bond nanoparticles of different chemical compositions into lattices in a controllable manner. Here we show that by coating nanoparticles protected with aliphatic ligands with an azide-bearing amphiphilic polymer, followed by the coupling of DNA to the polymer using strain-promoted azide-alkyne cycloaddition (also known as copper-free azide-alkyne click chemistry), nanoparticles bearing a high-density shell of nucleic acids can be created regardless of nanoparticle composition. This method provides a route to a virtually endless class of programmable atom equivalents for DNA-based colloidal crystallization.
Crystalline nanoparticle arrays and superlattices with well-defined geometries can be synthesized by using appropriate electrostatic, hydrogen-bonding or biological recognition interactions. Although superlattices with many distinct geometries can be produced using these approaches, the library of achievable lattices could be increased by developing a strategy that allows some of the nanoparticles within a binary lattice to be replaced with spacer entities that are constructed to mimic the behaviour of the nanoparticles they replace, even though they do not contain an inorganic core. The inclusion of these spacer entities within a known binary superlattice would effectively delete one set of nanoparticles without affecting the positions of the other set. Here, we show how hollow DNA nanostructures can be used as three-dimensional spacers within nanoparticle superlattices assembled through programmable DNA interactions. We show that this strategy can be used to form superlattices with five distinct symmetries, including one that has never before been observed in any crystalline material.
Polyvalent oligonucleotide-nanoparticle conjugates possess several unique emergent properties, including enhanced cellular uptake, high antisense bioactivity, and nuclease resistance, which hypothetically originate from the dense packing and orientation of oligonucleotides on the surface of the nanoparticle. In this Communication, we describe a new class of polyvalent nucleic acid nanostructures (PNANs), which are comprised of only cross-linked and oriented nucleic acids. We demonstrate that these particles are capable of effecting high cellular uptake and gene regulation without the need of a cationic polymer co-carrier. The PNANs also exhibit cooperative binding behavior and nuclease resistance properties.
A novel method for synthesizing polymer nanopods from a linear polymer bearing pendant propargyl ether groups, using gold nanoparticles as both the template and the catalyst for the cross-linking reaction, is reported. The transformations involved in the cross-linking process are unprecedented on the surface of a gold particle. A tentative cross-linking mechanism is proposed.
A historical perspective of the development of spherical nucleic acid (SNA) conjugates and other three-dimensional nucleic acid nanostructures is provided. This Perspective details the synthetic methods for preparing them, followed by a discussion of their unique properties and theoretical and experimental models for understanding them. Important examples of technological advances made possible by their fundamental properties spanning the fields of chemistry, molecular diagnostics, gene regulation, medicine, and materials science are also presented.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.