DNA release dynamics from bioreducible layer-by-layer films

Langmuir. 2010 Jun 1;26(11):8597-605. doi: 10.1021/la904673r.


DNA release dynamics from layer-by-layer (LbL) films is an important aspect to consider with regards to localized gene delivery systems. The rate of DNA release and the condensation state of DNA during release are of particular interest in the field of gene delivery. A hyperbranched poly(amido amine) (RHB) containing bioreducible disulfide bonds is used to form interpolyelectrolyte complexes with DNA during LbL film assembly. During film disassembly, DNA is released in physiologic conditions due to the reducing nature of the RHB. Uncondensed DNA deposited on the surface was compared to DNA condensed by RHB in polyplex form by using two types of LbL films, RHB/DNA/RHB and polyplex terminated films, RHB/DNA/polyplex. LbL films with up to three layers are used in order to facilitate high-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging. X-ray reflectivity, ellipsometry, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy are also used. The film disassembly, rearrangement, and release of molecules from the surface due to thiol-disulfide exchange is conducted in reducing dithiothreitol (DTT) solutions. Salt is found to accelerate the overall rate of film disassembly. Additionally, it was found that the polyplex layer disassembles faster than the DNA layer. The predominant intermediate structure is the toroid structure for the polyplex layer and the fiber bundle structure for the DNA layer during film disassembly. This study offers a simple means to modulate DNA release from LbL films by utilizing both condensed and uncondensed DNA in different layers. The study highlights nanostructures, toroids, and bundles as dominant intermediate DNA structures during DNA release from LbL films.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared


  • DNA