Colloidal behaviors of particles functionalized with biomolecules are generally complicated. This study describes that colloidal behaviors of double-stranded (ds) DNA-carrying polymer micelles are well controlled by altering the molar ratio of single-stranded (ss) DNA moiety in the dsDNA shell. ssDNA-carrying micelles composed of a poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) core surrounded by a dense shell of ssDNAs were prepared through self-assembly of PNIPAAm grafted with ssDNA by incubating its solution above the lower critical solution temperature. Spontaneous, non-cross-linking aggregation of the micelles was triggered by DNA duplex formation on the surface. Comparison of the critical coagulation concentration of NaCl among a series of the DNA-carrying micelles revealed the relationship between the helical structure of the surface-bound DNA and the colloidal stability of the micelles. The electrophoretic mobility analysis of the micelles indicated that the duplex formation reduced the structural flexibility of the surface-bound DNA, thereby decreasing the interparticle entropic repulsion. It is also suggested that the augmented rigidity of the surface-bound DNA increases the number of terminal base pairs facing the solvent, which could lead to multiple blunt-end stacking interaction among the micelles. Therefore, small DNA molecules could be considered unique surface-modifiers capable of controlling interactions between the surfaces of materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces