pH-responsive and switchable triplex-based DNA hydrogels†
New methods for the preparation of reversible pH-responsive DNA hydrogels based on Hoogsteen triplex structures are described. One system consists of a hydrogel composed of duplex DNA units that bridge acrylamide chains at pH = 7.4 and undergoes dissolution at pH = 5.0 through the reconfiguration of one of the duplex bridging units into a protonated CG·C+ triplex structure. The second system consists of a hydrogel consisting of acrylamide chains crosslinked in the presence of an auxiliary strand by Hoogsteen TA·T triplex interaction at pH = 7.0. The hydrogel transforms into a liquid phase at pH = 10.0 due to the separation of the triplex bridging units. The two hydrogel systems undergo reversible and cyclic hydrogel/solution transitions by subjecting the systems to appropriate pH values. The anti-cancer drug, coralyne, binds specifically to the TA·T triplex-crosslinked hydrogel thereby increasing its stiffness. The pH-controlled release of the coralyne from the hydrogel is demonstrated.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Global challenges: Health & Food