Complexation of DNA with Thermoresponsive Charged Microgels: Role of Swelling State and Electrostatics
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AuthorMaldonado Valderrama, Julia; Yang, Yan; Jiménez Guerra, Maykel; Castillo Santaella, Teresa del; Martín Molina, Alberto
DNAMicrogelMonolayerHydrodynamic diameterElectrophoretic mobilityCompression isothermsSurface pressureSurface tension
Maldonado-Valderrama, J... [et al.]. Complexation of DNA with Thermoresponsive Charged Microgels: Role of Swelling State and Electrostatics. Gels 2022, 8, 184. [https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8030184]
SponsorshipMCIN/AEI RTI2018-101309-B-C21 PID2020-631-116615RA-I00; Consejeria de Transformacion Economica, Industria, Conocimiento y Universidades PY20_00138
Micro- and nanogels are being increasingly used to encapsulate bioactive compounds. Their soft structure allows large loading capacity while their stimuli responsiveness makes them extremely versatile. In this work, the complexation of DNA with thermoresponsive microgels is presented. To this end, PEGylated charged microgels based on poly-N-isopropylacrylamide have been synthesized, allowing one to explore the electrostatics of the complexation. Cationic microgels complexate spontaneously by electrostatic attraction to oppositely charged DNA as demonstrated by electrophoretic mobility of the complexes. Then, Langmuir monolayers reveal an increased interaction of DNA with swollen microgels (20 degrees C). Anionic microgels require the presence of multivalent cations (Ca2+) to promote the complexation, overcoming the electrostatic repulsion with negatively charged DNA. Then again, Langmuir monolayers evidence their complexation at the surface. However, the presence of Ca2+ seems to induce profound changes in the interaction and surface conformation of anionic microgels. These alterations are further explored by measuring adsorbed films with the pendant drop technique. Conformational changes induced by Ca2+ on the structure of the microgel can ultimately affect the complexation with DNA and should be considered in the design. The combination of microstructural and surface properties for microgels offers a new perspective into complexation of DNA with soft particles with biomedical applications.