Mechanical Properties of Nanoworm Assembled by DNA and Nanoparticle Conjugates

YH Zhou and S Sohrabi and JF Tan and YL Liu, JOURNAL OF NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY, 16, 5447-5456 (2016).

DOI: 10.1166/jnn.2016.12068

Recently, DNA-nanoparticle conjugates have been widely used as building blocks for assembling complex nanostructures, due to their programmable recognitions, high cellular uptake and enhanced binding capabilities. In this study, a nanoworm structure, which can be applied in fields of drug targeting, image probing and thermal therapies, has been assembled by DNA-nanoparticle conjugates. Subsequently, its mechanical properties have been investigated due to their importance on the structural stability, transport and circulations of the nanoworm. Stiffness and strengths of the nanoworm under different deformation types are studied by coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. Effects of temperature, DNA coating density and particle size on mechanical properties of nanoworms are also thoroughly investigated. Results show that both resistance and strength of the nanoworm are the weakest along the axial direction, indicating it is more prone to be ruptured by a stretching force. In addition, DNA strands are found to be more important than nanoparticles in determining mechanical properties of the nanoworm. Moreover, both strength and resistance in regardless of directions are proved to be enhanced by decreasing the temperature, raising the DNA coating density and enlarging the particle size. This study is capable of serving as guidance for designing nanoworms with optimal mechanical strengths for applications.

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