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Instant hydrogel formation of terpyridine-based complexes triggered by DNA via non-covalent interaction

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Abstract

Biomolecule-based hydrogels have potential use in a wide range of applications such as controlled drug release, tissue engineering, and biofabrication. Herein, driven by specific interactions between ds-DNA (double-stranded DNA) and Zn2+ based metal-complexes, we report that the use of DNA as cross-linkers can enhance interactions between self-assembling Zn2+ complexes containing terpyridine and sugar groups in the generation of bioinspired hydrogels from solutions or suspensions. The gelation process is fast and straightforward without tedious steps and happens at room temperature. Such a hydrogelation process of different Zn2+ complexes endows the visualized and selective DNA analogue discrimination. Several experiments suggest that the strong intercalation binding of Zn2+ complexes with ds-DNA results in the unzipping of ds-DNA into ss-DNA (single-stranded DNA), which further behave as linkers to enhance the intermolecular interactions of self-assembling Zn2+ complex molecules via coordination interactions. This work demonstrates an efficient and universal strategy to prepare hydrogels based on biomolecular recognition. Moreover, the DNA responsive behaviors of Zn2+ complexes are further compared with that of solutions and cells.

Graphical abstract: Instant hydrogel formation of terpyridine-based complexes triggered by DNA via non-covalent interaction

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Oct 2018, accepted on 01 Feb 2019 and first published on 01 Feb 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR08532C
Citation: Nanoscale, 2019, Advance Article

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    Instant hydrogel formation of terpyridine-based complexes triggered by DNA via non-covalent interaction

    L. Geng, X. Yu, Y. Li, Y. Wang, Y. Wu, J. Ren, F. Xue and T. Yi, Nanoscale, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR08532C

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