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Issue 14, 2010

DNA gel particles

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This review covers recent developments on the topic of DNA gel particles formed in waterwater emulsion-type interfaces. A general understanding of interactions between DNA and oppositely charged agents has given us a basis for developing novel DNA-based materials, including gel particles. The association strength, which is tuned by varying the chemical structure of the cationic cosolute, determines the spatial homogeneity of the gelation process, creating DNA reservoir devices and DNA matrix devices that can be designed to release DNA (either single- (ssDNA) or double-stranded (dsDNA)). Besides an introduction concerning general aspects about DNA–cationic complexes and the formation of gels in waterwater emulsion-type interfaces and some conclusions, the review contains sections reviewing the preparation of DNA gel particles using 1) surfactants, 2) polysaccharides and 3) proteins. The particle morphology, swelling/dissolution behaviour, degree of DNA entrapment and DNA release responses as a function of the nature of the cationic agent used are discussed. Finally, current directions on the preparation of DNA gel particles, including the decrease of size and the improvement of the biocompatibility of these systems have been reviewed.

Graphical abstract: DNA gel particles

Article information

13 Nov 2009
15 Feb 2010
First published
22 Mar 2010

Soft Matter, 2010,6, 3143-3156
Article type
Review Article

DNA gel particles

M. C. Morán, M. G. Miguel and B. Lindman, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 3143 DOI: 10.1039/B923873E

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