Polymer Nanotubes as Molecular Probes and DNA Carriers

May 01, 2006

By growing polymers on a porous aluminum oxide template, researchers at the Seoul National University in Korea have fabricated polymer nanotubes to which they can attach two different types of molecules. These new nanoscale structures could be used to deliver imaging and therapeutic agents to targeted cells.

Reporting its work in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, a group headed by Jyongsik Jang, Ph.D., describes the methods it used to create polymeric nanotubes with two different types of reactive molecules on their surfaces. By growing the nanotubes on a porous aluminum membrane, the researchers are able to control the overall structure of the nanotube, including the thickness of its walls and its diameter.

With the nanotubes in hand, the investigators then attached a variety of targeting, imaging and therapeutic molecules to the surface of the nanotubes. The researchers then performed detailed physical characterizations of the functionalized nanotubes.

In addition, the investigators conducted a set of imaging experiments in which they used a short stretch of DNA as a targeting molecule and a fluorescent dye as the imaging agent. The piece of DNA that the researchers chose recognizes and binds to the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene, mutations in which increases susceptibility to developing breast cancer. When administered to breast cancer tumor cells, the targeted nanotubes were taken up by the cells and bound to the mutant gene. The nanotubes bound to the BRCA1 gene were clearly visible under a fluorescence microscope.

This work is detailed in a paper titled, “Dual-functionalized polymer nanotubes as substrates for molecular-probe and DNA-carrier applications.” An abstract of this paper is available at the journal’s website.

Source: National Cancer Institute

Explore further: Chemists design nanoparticles that can deliver three cancer drugs at a time

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nanotube coating helps shrink mass spectrometers

Mar 25, 2014

Nanotechnology is advancing tools likened to Star Trek's "tricorder" that perform on-the-spot chemical analysis for a range of applications including medical testing, explosives detection and food safety.

Using carbon to control the light

Mar 06, 2014

(Phys.org) —The flip of a light switch – a nano-scale light switch – may some day dramatically boost the speed of data transmission, from streaming movies to accelerating the most data-intense computation. ...

Cooling microprocessors with carbon nanotubes

Jan 22, 2014

"Cool it!" That's a prime directive for microprocessor chips and a promising new solution to meeting this imperative is in the offing. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley ...

Developing methods for building precise nanostructures

Jan 13, 2014

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have received a $540,000 federal grant to devise methods for building minute structures tailored to precisely deliver medicines to tumors or carry dyes that help imaging technologies ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

More news stories

Making 'bucky-balls' in spin-out's sights

(Phys.org) —A new Oxford spin-out firm is targeting the difficult challenge of manufacturing fullerenes, known as 'bucky-balls' because of their spherical shape, a type of carbon nanomaterial which, like ...

Melting during cooling period

(Phys.org) —A University of Maine research team says stratification of the North Atlantic Ocean contributed to summer warming and glacial melting in Scotland during the period recognized for abrupt cooling ...