BPN328: Remote Nanoplasmonic Switch for Localized Gene Silencing


Near infrared-absorbing gold nanoplasmonic particles (GNPs) are used here as optical switches of gene interference and are remotely controlled using light. We have tuned these optical switches such that optical excitation is at a specific near infrared wavelength where cellular photo-damage is minimized due to a long penetration depth. The optical switches are conjugated with double-stranded oligonucleotides. The double-stranded complex is formed by a thiol-modified sense oligonucleotide attached to the GNP’s surface and a gene-interfering antisense oligonucleotide hybridized to the sense strand. At desired times and at specific intracellular locations, remote optical excitation is used to liberate the gene-interfering antisense oligonucleotides are from their protective carriers via photothermal heating of the GNPs. We demonstrate a novel gene-interfering technique that offers spatial and temporal control, which is otherwise impossible using conventional gene-interfering techniques. Using this method, spatial and temporal perturbation of a single gene can be achieved and its dynamic effect on an entire biological system can be studied, thus having far-reaching implications in systems biology, biotechnology, and gene therapy.

Project end date: 08/11/10

Eunice Somin Lee
Publication date: 
February 1, 2010
Publication type: 
BSAC Project Materials (Final/Archive)
PREPUBLICATION DATA - ©University of California 2010

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