American Chemical Society
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Facile Phase Transfer and Surface Biofunctionalization of Hydrophobic Nanoparticles Using Janus DNA Tetrahedron Nanostructures

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-09-09, 00:00 authored by Juan Li, Cheng-Yi Hong, Shu-Xian Wu, Hong Liang, Li-Ping Wang, Guoming Huang, Xian Chen, Huang-Hao Yang, Dihua Shangguan, Weihong Tan
Hydrophobic nanoparticles have shown substantial potential for bioanalysis and biomedical applications. However, their use is hindered by complex phase transfer and inefficient surface modification. This paper reports a facile and universal strategy for phase transfer and surface biofunctionalization of hydrophobic nanomaterials using aptamer-pendant DNA tetrahedron nanostructures (Apt-tet). The Janus DNA tetrahedron nanostructures are constructed by three carboxyl group modified DNA strands and one aptamer sequence. The pendant linear sequence is an aptamer, in this case AS1411, known to specifically bind nucleolin, typically overexpressed on the plasma membranes of tumor cells. The incorporation of the aptamers adds targeting ability and also enhances intracellular uptake. Phase-transfer efficiency using Apt-tet is much higher than that achieved using single-stranded DNA. In addition, the DNA tetrahedron nanostructures can be programmed to permit the incorporation of other functional nucleic acids, such as DNAzymes, siRNA, or antisense DNA, allowing, in turn, the construction of promising theranostic nanoagents for bioanalysis and biomedical applications. Given these unique features, we believe that our strategy of surface modification and functionalization may become a new paradigm in phase-transfer-agent design and further expand biomedical applications of hydrophobic nanomaterials.