Surfactant-DNA gel particles: Formation and release characteristics
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Aqueous mixtures of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes undergo associative phase separation, resulting in coacervation, gelation, or precipitation. This phenomenon has been exploited here to form DNA gel particles by interfacial diffusion. We report on the formation of DNA gel particles by mixing solutions of DNA (either single-stranded (ssDNA) or double-stranded (dsDNA)) with solutions of cationic surfactant cetyltrimetrylammonium bromide (CTAB). By using CTAB, the formation of DNA reservoir gel particles, without adding any kind of cross-linker or organic solvent, has been demonstrated. Particles have been characterized with respect to the degree of DNA entrapment, surface morphology, and secondary structure of DNA in the particles. The swelling/ deswelling behavior and the DNA release have been investigated in response to salt additions. Analysis of the data has suggested a higher degree of interaction between ssDNA and the cationic surfactant, confirming the stronger amphiphilic character of the denatured DNA. Fluorescence microscopy studies have suggested that the formation of these particles is associated with a conservation of the secondary structure of DNA.