Functionalized gold nanoparticles for the binding, stabilization, and delivery of therapeutic DNA, RNA, and other biological macromolecules

Robert K. DeLong, Missouri State University
Christopher M. Reynolds, MSU Undergraduate
Yaneika Malcolm, MSU Undergraduate
Ashley Schaeffer, MSU Undergraduate
Tiffany Severs, MSU Graduate Student
Adam Wanekaya, Missouri State University

Abstract

Nanotechnology has virtually exploded in the last few years with seemingly limitless opportunity across all segments of our society. If gene and RNA therapy are to ever realize their full potential, there is a great need for nanomaterials that can bind, stabilize, and deliver these macromolecular nucleic acids into human cells and tissues. Many researchers have turned to gold nanomaterials, as gold is thought to be relatively well tolerated in humans and provides an inert material upon which nucleic acids can attach. Here, we review the various strategies for associating macromolecular nucleic acids to the surface of gold nanoparticles (GNPs), the characterization chemistries involved, and the potential advantages of GNPs in terms of stabilization and delivery. © 2010 DeLong et al.