American Chemical Society
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Light-Responsive and pH-Responsive DNA Microcapsules for Controlled Release of Loads

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-06-16, 00:00 authored by Fujian Huang, Wei-Ching Liao, Yang Sung Sohn, Rachel Nechushtai, Chun-Hua Lu, Itamar Willner
A method to assemble light-responsive or pH-responsive microcapsules loaded with different loads (tetramethylrhodamine-modified dextran, TMR-D; microperoxidase-11, MP-11; CdSe/ZnS quantum dots; or doxorubicin-modified dextran, DOX-D) is described. The method is based on the layer-by-layer deposition of sequence-specific nucleic acids on poly­(allylamine hydrochloride)-functionalized CaCO3 core microparticles, loaded with the different loads, that after the dissolution of the core particles with EDTA yields the stimuli-responsive microcapsules that include the respective loads. The light-responsive microcapsules are composed of photocleavable o-nitrobenzyl-phosphate-modified DNA shells, and the pH-responsive microcapsules are made of a cytosine-rich layer cross-linked by nucleic acid bridges. Irradiating the o-nitrobenzyl phosphate-functionalized microcapsules, λ = 365 nm, or subjecting the pH-responsive microcapsules to pH = 5.0, results in the cleavage of the microcapsule shells and the release of the loads. Preliminary studies address the cytotoxicity of the DOX-D-loaded microcapsules toward MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and normal MCF-10A breast epithelial cells. Selective cytotoxicity of the DOX-D-loaded microcapsules toward cancer cells is demonstrated.