by Keyword: Shapes

Padial, Tania Patino, Del Grosso, Erica, Gentile, Serena, Pellejero, Lorena Baranda, Mestre, Rafael, Paffen, Lars J M M, Sanchez, Samuel, Ricci, Francesco, (2024). Synthetic DNA-based Swimmers Driven by Enzyme Catalysis Journal Of The American Chemical Society 146, 12664-12671

Here, we report DNA-based synthetic nanostructures decorated with enzymes (hereafter referred to as DNA-enzyme swimmers) that self-propel by converting the enzymatic substrate to the product in solution. The DNA-enzyme swimmers are obtained from tubular DNA structures that self-assemble spontaneously by the hybridization of DNA tiles. We functionalize these DNA structures with two different enzymes, urease and catalase, and show that they exhibit concentration-dependent movement and enhanced diffusion upon addition of the enzymatic substrate (i.e., urea and H2O2). To demonstrate the programmability of such DNA-based swimmers, we also engineer DNA strands that displace the enzyme from the DNA scaffold, thus acting as molecular brakes on the DNA swimmers. These results serve as a first proof of principle for the development of synthetic DNA-based enzyme-powered swimmers that can self-propel in fluids.

JTD Keywords: Design, Motor, Shapes

Mares, AG, Pacassoni, G, Marti, JS, Pujals, S, Albertazzi, L, (2021). Formulation of tunable size PLGA-PEG nanoparticles for drug delivery using microfluidic technology Plos One 16, e0251821

Amphiphilic block co-polymer nanoparticles are interesting candidates for drug delivery as a result of their unique properties such as the size, modularity, biocompatibility and drug loading capacity. They can be rapidly formulated in a nanoprecipitation process based on self-assembly, resulting in kinetically locked nanostructures. The control over this step allows us to obtain nanoparticles with tailor-made properties without modification of the co-polymer building blocks. Furthermore, a reproducible and controlled formulation supports better predictability of a batch effectiveness in preclinical tests. Herein, we compared the formulation of PLGA-PEG nanoparticles using the typical manual bulk mixing and a microfluidic chip-assisted nanoprecipitation. The particle size tunability and controllability in a hydrodynamic flow focusing device was demonstrated to be greater than in the manual dropwise addition method. We also analyzed particle size and encapsulation of fluorescent compounds, using the common bulk analysis and advanced microscopy techniques: Transmission Electron Microscopy and Total Internal Reflection Microscopy, to reveal the heterogeneities occurred in the formulated nanoparticles. Finally, we performed in vitro evaluation of obtained NPs using MCF-7 cell line. Our results show how the microfluidic formulation improves the fine control over the resulting nanoparticles, without compromising any appealing property of PLGA nanoparticle. The combination of microfluidic formulation with advanced analysis methods, looking at the single particle level, can improve the understanding of the NP properties, heterogeneities and performance.

JTD Keywords: controlled-release, doxorubicin, encapsulation, functional nanoparticles, nanoprecipitation, pharmacokinetics, polymeric nanoparticles, shape, surface-chemistry, In-vitro