Experimental and Theoretical Studies to Characterize the Fundamental Interactions Between Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Oligomers and Gold (Au) Nanoparticles

Report No. ARL-TR-5765
Authors: Molleshree Karna, Radhakrishnan Balu, Govind Mallick, and Mark Griep
Date/Pages: September 2011; 18 pages
Abstract: A combined experimental and theoretical investigation of mixtures of gold (Au) nanoparticles (NPs) and single stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) (ss-DNA) were carried out to characterize the nature of their interaction. Au NPs are found to bind with ss-DNA under mildly acidic conditions. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) images and ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy of the mixture provided evidence for the binding of Au NPs with ss-DNA. The theoretical calculations provided a possible charge transfer pathway from the DNA base guanine to Au atoms, thus characterizing the interaction as electrostatic. The calculations outline the possible effect of the presence of other bases to guanine-mediated charge transfer. Specifically, the presence of an adenine base alters the charge localization at the guanine base, thus preventing charge transfer to the NPs.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2011