Oligonucleotide-Modified Gold Nanoparticles for Intracellular Gene Regulation*
This chapter describes the use of gold nanoparticle-oligonucleotide complexes as intracellular gene regulation agents for the control of protein expression in cells. These oligonucleotide-modified nanoparticles have affinity constants for complementary nucleic acids that are higher than their unmodified oligonucleotide counterparts, are less susceptible to degradation by nuclease activity, exhibit greater than 99 percent cellular uptake, can introduce oligonucleotides at a higher effective concentration than conventional transfection agents, and are nontoxic to the cells under the conditions studied. It demonstrates a tunable gene knockdown by chemically tailoring the density of DNA bound to the surface of gold nanoparticles. The chapter also introduces the use of oligonucleotide-functionalized gold nanoparticles as new antisense agents that take advantage of the ensemble properties of the nanoparticle-oligonucleotide conjugate.