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, 24 (20), 11828-33

Confinement of DNA in Water-In-Oil Microemulsions

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Confinement of DNA in Water-In-Oil Microemulsions

Anita Swami et al. Langmuir.

Abstract

The study of systems that allow DNA condensation in confined environments is an important task in producing cell-mimicking microreactors capable of biochemical activities. The water droplets formed in water-in-oil emulsions are potentially good candidates for such microcompartments. The anionic surfactant AOT was used here to stabilize the droplets. We have studied in detail the DNA distribution and the structural modifications of these microemulsion drops by varying the concentration and molecular weight of DNA and using various techniques such as light, X-ray, and neutron scattering, electrical conductivity, and surface tension. DNA induces the formation of large drops into which it is internalized. The size of these drops depends on the amount of DNA dissolved in water as well as on its molecular weight. The local DNA concentration is very high (>100 mg/mL). The large drops coexist with small empty drops (not containing DNA), similar to those found in the DNA-free microemulsion.

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