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Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University

DNA Molecules

Caption: This illustration depicts DNA molecules (light green), packaged into nanoparticles by using a polymer with two different segments. One segment (teal) carries a positive charge that binds it to the DNA, and the other (brown) forms a protective coating on the particle surface. By adjusting the solvent surrounding these molecules, the Johns Hopkins and Northwestern researchers were able to control the shape of the nanoparticles. The teamís animal tests showed that a nanoparticleís shape could dramatically affect how effectively it delivers gene therapy to the cells. The cartoon images in the foreground, obtained though computational modeling, matched closely with the gray background images, which were collected through transmission electron microscopy.

Credit: Credits: Wei Qu, Northwestern University, simulation cartoons; Xuan Jiang, Johns Hopkins University, microscopic images

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Related news release: Scientists discover that shape matters in DNA nanoparticle therapy


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