DNA Origami Nanoparticles for Cell Delivery: The Effect of Shape and Surface Functionalization on Cell Internalization

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DNA Origami Nanoparticles for Cell Delivery: The Effect of Shape and Surface Functionalization on Cell Internalization

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Title: DNA Origami Nanoparticles for Cell Delivery: The Effect of Shape and Surface Functionalization on Cell Internalization
Author: Graf, Franziska
Citation: Graf, Franziska. 2012. DNA Origami Nanoparticles for Cell Delivery: The Effect of Shape and Surface Functionalization on Cell Internalization. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: An outstanding challenge in modern medicine is the safe and efficient delivery of drugs. One approach to improve drug delivery yield and increase specificity towards diseased cells, is to employ a drug carrier to facilitate transport. Promising steps towards developing such a carrier have been taken by the nascent field of nanomedicine: nanometer-sized particles designed to evade premature excretion, non-specific absorption, and the body’s immune response, can reduce undesired drug loss, while also increasing specific drug uptake into diseased cells through targeting surface modifications. However, progress is limited by incomplete knowledge of the ‘ideal’ nanoparticle design as well as a lack of appropriate high resolution construction methods for its implementation. DNA origami, a modular, nanometer-precise assembly method that would enable the rapid testing of particle properties as well as massively parallel fabrication, could provide an avenue to address these needs. In this thesis, I employed the DNA origami method to investigate how nanoscale shape and ligand functionalization affect nanoparticle uptake into cultured endothelial cells. In the first part, I evaluated the uptake yield of a series of eight shapes that ranged from 7.5 nm to 400 nm in their individual dimensions. The best performing shape of that study, a 15 × 100 nm DNA origami nanocylinder, was internalized 18-fold better than a dsDNA control of the same molecular weight. In a follow up study, I decorated this nanocylinder with integrin-targeting cyclic RGD peptides. This surface functionalization increased cellular uptake another 13-fold. In addition, uptake yield and the ratio of internalized versus surface-bound particles depended on the number of ligands present on the nanoparticle surface.
This work represents a significant first step towards attaining the ability to design and implement an 'ideal' nanoparticle drug carrier. In the future, the DNA origami method can be used as a platform technology to further expand our understanding of transport properties of drug carriers and achieve safer and more efficient drug delivery.
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Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9556124
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