Interactions between DNA-Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes and Proteins in Solution | AIChE

Interactions between DNA-Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes and Proteins in Solution


Conference Presentation

Conference Type

AIChE Annual Meeting

Presentation Date

November 8, 2021


15 minutes

Skill Level




Applications of nanotechnologies to probe and alter biological systems require nanoparticle stability in biomolecule-rich environments. DNA-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have been employed as both a molecular-sensing platform and a route for genetic cargo delivery.1,2 Experimental studies demonstrate that DNA-SWCNTs interact with surrounding proteins in bioenvironments, resulting in decreased nanoparticle effectiveness.3,4 Yet, the forces driving these interactions require further study. Herein, we adopt a modified DLVO approach to understand interfacial interactions between functionalized nanoparticles and proteins in aqueous solution. We study the influence of nanoparticle and protein parameters on the total potential of mean force, including colloid geometry (size, shape, fill) and surface morphology (dictating solvation, electrostatic, and dispersion forces). We explore interactions of DNA-SWCNTs with representative high- and low-binding affinity proteins (fibrinogen and albumin, respectively), as determined experimentally with a kinetic exchange assay that measures dynamic interactions and mass spectrometry-based proteomics for the end-state adsorption quantities.3,4 Finally, we extend our model to study the interactions of DNA-SWCNTs with a panel of proteins of varying binding kinetics to DNA-SWCNTs. With this better understanding of parameters that govern the interactions between proteins and DNA-SWCNTs, nanoparticles may be better designed to resist protein adsorption and subsequent biofouling when applied in protein-rich, in vivo environments.


  1. Demirer, G. S. et al. High aspect ratio nanomaterials enable delivery of functional genetic material without DNA integration in mature plants. Nat. Nanotechnol. 14, 456–464 (2019).
  2. Beyene, A. G. et al. Imaging striatal dopamine release using a nongenetically encoded near infrared fluorescent catecholamine nanosensor. Science Advances 5, eaaw3108 (2019).
  3. Pinals, R. L., Yang, D., Lui, A., Cao, W. & Landry, M. P. Corona Exchange Dynamics on Carbon Nanotubes by Multiplexed Fluorescence Monitoring. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 142, 1254–1264 (2020).
  4. Pinals, R. L. et al. Quantitative Protein Corona Composition and Dynamics on Carbon Nanotubes in Biological Environments. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 59, 23668–23677 (2020).


Once the content has been viewed and you have attested to it, you will be able to download and print a certificate for PDH credits. If you have already viewed this content, please click here to login.




Do you already own this?



AIChE Member Credits 0.5
AIChE Pro Members $19.00
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
AIChE Explorer Members $29.00
Non-Members $29.00