Non-Invasive, Reliable, and Fast Quantification of DNA Loading on Gold Nanoparticles by a One-Step Optical Measurement

Jaewon Lee, Seungwoo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


An exquisite, versatile, and reproducible quantification of DNA loading on gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) has long been pursued because this loading influences the analytical, therapeutic, and self-assembly behaviors of DNA-Au NPs. Nevertheless, the existing methods used thus far rely solely on the invasive detachment and subsequent spectroscopic quantification of DNA, which are error-prone and highly dependent on trained personnel. Here, we present a non-invasive optical framework that can determine the number of DNA strands on Au NPs by versatile one-step measurement of the visible absorption spectra of DNA-Au NP solutions without any invasive modifications or downstream processes. Using effective medium theory in conjunction with electromagnetic numerical calculation, the change in DNA loading density, resulting from varying the ion concentration, Au NP size, DNA strand length, and surrounding temperature, can be tracked in situ merely by the one-step measurement of visible absorption spectra, which is otherwise impossible to achieve. Moreover, the simplicity and robustness of this method promote reproducible DNA loading quantification regardless of experimental adeptness, which is in stark contrast with existing invasive and multistep methods. Overall, the optical framework outlined in this work can contribute to democratizing research on DNA-Au NPs and facilitating their rapid adoption in transformative applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1856-1866
Number of pages11
JournalAnalytical chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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