DNA Nanogels To Snare Carcinogens: A Bioinspired Generic Approach with High Efficiency

Topuz F., Singh S., Albrecht K., Moeller M., Groll J.

ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION, vol.55, no.40, pp.12210-12213, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 40
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/anie.201601983
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.12210-12213
  • Keywords: DNA, environmental chemistry, intercalation, nanogels, toxins
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are combustion-related pollutants and are ubiquitous in the environment, including in sources of drinking water. Upon contact with DNA, stable PAH-DNA adducts form rapidly as the first step towards their toxic effects. In this work, we prepared hydrophilic DNA nanogels to exploit this generic complexation process as a biomimetic scavenging method. This approach relies on interaction between PAHs and the complete network that constitutes the water-swollen nanogels, and is not restricted to interfacial adsorption. Up to 720 mu g of PAH per gram of DNA nanogel are taken up, meaning that 1 mg of DNA nanogel is sufficient to purify a liter of water containing the critical PAH concentration for cancer risk (600 ng L-1). As a result of short diffusion pathways, PAH uptake is rapid, reaching 50% loading after 15 minutes. Beyond PAHs, DNA nanogels may be useful for the generic detoxification of water containing genotoxins, since most known molecules that strongly associate with DNA are mutagenic.