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21 February 2020 Considering variables in ultra-short laser pulses to release nucleic acids from the surface of gold nanoparticles
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The inherent ability of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) to transduce light energy into heat, coupled with their ease of bioconjugation has made them a powerful tool potentially capable of controlling biological activity. When combined with ultra-short pulses of light and the proper experimental conditions, AuNPs are capable of heating their local environment without increasing the bulk solution temperature. Gene therapy and siRNA delivery have emerged as promising applications for localized heating of AuNPs and as such, a number of different groups have used light to trigger the release of nucleic acids from the surface of AuNPs. While successful nucleic acid release is universally demonstrated in the literature, the mechanism of release varies between reports. Specifically, the reported release mechanism is either: 1) the thermal denaturing of a nucleic acid duplex and release of a “single stranded” nucleic acid into solution; 2) the cleavage of the prototypical gold-thiol bond used to tether the nucleic acid duplex to the surface, resulting in the release of the complete nucleic acid duplex; or 3) a combination of both. Due to the complex parameter space in these experimental systems (AuNP size/shape/composition, laser energy density/repetition rate/pulse width) it is not surprising that the reported release mechanisms differ. Here, we utilize examples from the literature in order to identify the key parameters that dictate the release mechanism of nucleic acids on AuNPs in an attempt to further a comprehensive understanding of this process.
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David A. Hastman Jr., Igor L. Medintz, and Sebastián A. Diaz "Considering variables in ultra-short laser pulses to release nucleic acids from the surface of gold nanoparticles", Proc. SPIE 11255, Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XV, 112550C (21 February 2020);

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