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      Manipulating the salt and thermal stability of DNA multilayer films via oligonucleotide length.

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      American Chemical Society (ACS)

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          DNA films are promising materials for diverse applications, including sensing, diagnostics, and drug/gene delivery. However, the ability to tune the stability of DNA films remains a crucial aspect for such applications. Herein, we examine the role of oligonucleotide length on the formation, and salt and thermal stability, of DNA multilayer films using oligonucleotides of homopolymeric diblocks (polyAG and polyTC), with each block (A, G, T, or C) ranging from 5 to 30 bases (10-, 20-, 30-, 40-, and 60-mer). Using a combination of quartz crystal microgravimetry, dual polarization interferometry, and flow cytometry, we demonstrate that at least 10 bases per hybridizing block in the DNA diblocks (that is, 20-mer) are required for successful hybridization and, hence, DNA multilayer film formation. Films assembled using longer oligonucleotide blocks were more stable in low salt conditions, with the DNA multilayer films assembled from the 60-mer oligonucleotides remaining intact in solutions of about 25 mM NaCl. A systematic increase in film melting temperature ( T m) was observed for the DNA multilayer films (assembled on colloids) with increasing oligonucleotide length, ranging from 38.5 degrees C for the 20-mer films to 53 degrees C for the 60-mer films. Further, an alternating trend in T m of the DNA multilayer films was observed with layer number (AG or TC); DNA multilayer films terminated with an AG layer exhibited a higher T m (44-49 degrees C) than films with an outermost TC layer (ca. 38 degrees C), suggesting a rearrangement of the film structure upon hybridization of the outermost layer. This work shows that the stability of DNA multilayer films can be tuned by varying the length of the oligonucleotide building blocks, thus providing a versatile means to tailor the salt and thermal stability of DNA films, which is necessary for the application of such films.

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          Author and article information

          [1 ] Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
          American Chemical Society (ACS)
          Nov 2008
          : 9
          : 11
          18826323 10.1021/bm800593t


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