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DNA-linked nanoparticles form switchable 'thin films' on a liquid surface
Date:6/11/2014

UPTON, NYScientists seeking ways to engineer the assembly of tiny particles measuring just billionths of a meter have achieved a new firstthe formation of a single layer of nanoparticles on a liquid surface where the properties of the layer can be easily switched. Understanding the assembly of such nanostructured thin films could lead to the design of new kinds of filters or membranes with a variable mechanical response for a wide range of applications. In addition, because the scientists used tiny synthetic strands of DNA to hold the nanoparticles together, the study also offers insight into the mechanism of interactions of nanoparticles and DNA molecules near a lipid membrane. This understanding could inform the emerging use of nanoparticles as vehicles for delivering genes across cellular membranes.

"Our work reveals how DNA-coated nanoparticles interact and re-organize at a lipid interface, and how that process affects the properties of a "thin film" made of DNA-linked nanoparticles," said physicist Oleg Gang who led the study at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN, http://www.bnl.gov/cfn/) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. The results will be published in the June 11, 2014 print edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Like the molecule that carries genetic information in living things, the synthetic DNA strands used as "glue" to bind nanoparticles in this study have a natural tendency to pair up when the bases that make up the rungs of the twisted-ladder shaped molecule match up in a particular way. Scientists at Brookhaven have made great use of the specificity of this attractive force to get nanoparticles coated with single synthetic DNA strands to pair up and assemble in a variety of three-dimensional architectures. The goal of the present s
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Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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