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Title: Effect of Additives on Swelling of Covalent DNA Gels
Authors: Costa, Diana 
Miguel, M. Graça 
Lindman, Björn 
Issue Date: 26-Jul-2007
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Citation: The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 111:29 (2007) 8444-8452
Abstract: The volumetric response of polymer gels on cosolute addition depends on the interaction of the polymer with the cosolute and can be used as a simple and sensitive way of elucidating these interactions. Here we report on DNA networks, prepared by crosslinking double-stranded DNA with ethylene glycol diglycidyl ether (EGDE); these have been investigated with respect to their swelling in aqueous solution containing different additives, such as metal ions, polyamines, charged proteins, and surfactants. The deswelling on addition of metal ions occurs at lower concentrations with increasing valency of the counterion. The collapse of the gels in the presence of trivalent ions seems to follow the same kind of mechanism as the interaction in solution, but addition of these ions leads to DNA denaturation and formation of single-stranded DNA. Striking features were found in the deswelling of DNA gels by chitosan, spermine, spermidine, lysozyme, poly-l-lysine and poly-l-arginine. Chitosan is the most efficient cosolute of those investigated with respect to DNA gel collapse. The effect of the cationic surfactant tail length on the volume phase transition of DNA gels was studied as a function of surfactant concentration. Cationic surfactants effectively collapsed the gel from the critical aggregation concentration (cac), decreasing with increasing length of the hydrophobic tail. In several cases, the deswelling as a function of cosolute concentration shows a pronounced two-step behavior, which is interpreted in terms of a combination of DNA chain condensation and general osmotic deswelling. The studies included investigations on the state of the DNA chain after deswelling, on the reversibility of the deswelling as well as on the kinetics. With the exception for the trivalent lanthanide ions, it appears that the DNA chain always retains a double-helix conformation; with these metal ions, single-stranded DNA is found. The deswelling appears to be reversible as exemplified by addition of anionic surfactant subsequent to gel collapsed by cationic surfactant and addition of sodium bromide to gels collapsed by a polycation. An investigation of the kinetics shows that an increase in the surfactant tail length gives a pronouncedly slower deswelling kinetics.
ISSN: 1520-6106
DOI: 10.1021/jp067917q
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCTUC Química - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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