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J Phys Chem B. 2009 Feb 12;113(6):1796-804. doi: 10.1021/jp807956r.

Monodispersed mesoporous silica nanoparticles with very large pores for enhanced adsorption and release of DNA.

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  • 1Instituto de Tecnologia Quimica, UPV-CSIC, Avenida Los Naranjos s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain.

Abstract

Silica nanoparticles with controlled diameter (approximately 70-300 nm) and with uniform pores of 20 nm are prepared by a low temperature (10 degrees C) synthetic method in the presence of a dual surfactant system. While a triblock copolymer (Pluronic F127) acts as supramolecular template and coassembles with hydrolyzed silica species to develop a partially ordered mesophase with face-centered cubic symmetry, a fluorocarbon surfactant with high surface activity (FC-4) surrounds the silica particles through S+X-I+ interactions, thereby limiting their growth. The final textural properties of this material are achieved by means of a subsequent hydrothermal treatment to yield high pore volume mesoporous silica nanoparticles with the largest pore entrance size (17 nm) and cavity diameter (20 nm) reported up to now. After surface modification with aminopropyl groups, the nanoparticles are able to encapsulate inside the pores molecules of the firefly luciferase plasmid DNA (pGL3-Control, 5256 pb), leading to stable conjugates with up to 0.07 microg DNA m(-2), which is the highest content achieved with silica-based materials. Furthermore, plasmid DNA becomes protected from enzymatic degradation when conjugated with the mesostructured nanoparticles.

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