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Dendritic Star Polymers for Efficient DNA Binding and Stimulus-Dependent DNA Release

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journal contribution
posted on 10.11.2008, 00:00 by Meizhen Yin, Ke Ding, Radu A. Gropeanu, Jie Shen, Rüdiger Berger, Tanja Weil, Klaus Müllen
Water-soluble core−shell star polymers consisting of a dendritic polyphenylene core and an outer shell containing a defined number of amino groups have been synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). All macromolecules efficiently interacted with a diverse set of DNA fragments, and stable complexes were formed and visualized by atomic force microscopy. The observed tight binding of DNA, which was found in the sub-nanomolar range, was mainly attributed to strong electrostatic interactions. Complex stoichiometries between the polyelectrolytes were controlled via the number of amino groups of the star polymers, and well-defined nanoscopic architectures were formed. DNA was released from the complexes after treatment with high concentrations of sodium chloride in aqueous solution. Such star polymers, which allow the binding and release of DNA, represent attractive candidates for the development of novel anion-exchange resins for DNA purification or as nonviral vector systems for gene delivery.