Sequence-Defined DNA Amphiphiles for Drug Delivery: Synthesis and Self-Assembly

  • Michael D. Dore
  • Hanadi F. SleimanEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2063)


DNA nanotechnology has been used to create DNA containing nanostructures with well-defined sizes and shapes—properties highly applicable to drug delivery. By appending sequence-defined hydrophobic segments to DNA, DNA amphiphiles are created whose structures and modes of self-assembly mimic specialized biomacromolecules such as proteins. Automated, solid-phase DNA synthesis is a scalable and robust technique that has been optimized for several decades to make DNA oligomers. Using the same method and with minimal additional cost, DNA amphiphiles are synthesized with total control of monomer sequence. A variety of synthetic monomers may be appended to DNA depending on the application, but of particular interest is a linear twelve-carbon alkyl chain (C12). This chapter describes the synthesis, purification, and characterization of a DNA amphiphile consisting of twelve C12 units covalently attached to a 19mer DNA sequence (C1212-DNA19). These DNA amphiphiles self-assemble into spherical nanoparticles with potential applications for nucleic acid delivery. Methods common to chemistry and molecular biology are employed, including high-performance liquid chromatography and gel electrophoresis, as well as the more specialized imaging technique of atomic force microscopy.

Key words

DNA Nanotechnology DNA amphiphiles Drug delivery Self-assembly Sequence-defined polymers Micelle Solid-phase synthesis Phosphoramidite 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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