Time Lapse Living Cell Imaging to Monitor Doxorubicin Release from DNA Origami Nanostructures

R. Wang
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
United States

Keywords: DNA nanostructure, Doxorubicin, drug delivery,


Self-assembled DNA nanostructures have attracted significant research interest in biomedical applications because of their excellent programmability and biocompatibility. To develop multifunctional drug delivery from DNA nanostructures, considerable key information is still needed for clinical application. This includes elucidation of the mechanism of drug release from DNA origami, quantification of drug cellular distribution, and the influence of the geometry of DNA architectures on drug delivery efficiency. Traditional fixed endpoint assays do not reflect the dynamic and heterogeneous responses of cells with regard to drugs, and may lead to the misinterpretation of experimental results. For the first time, an integrated time-lapse live cell imaging system was used to study the cellular internalization and controlled drug release profile of three different shaped DNA origami/doxorubicin (DOX) complexes for three days. Our results demonstrated the dependence of DNA nanostructures on shape for drug delivery efficiency, while the rigid 3D DNA origami triangle frame exhibited enhanced cellular uptake capability, as compared with flexible 2D DNA structures. In addition, the translocation of released DOX into the nucleus was proved by fluorescence microscopy, in which a DOX-loaded 3D DNA triangle frame displayed a stronger accumulation of DOX in nuclei. Moreover, given the facile drug loading and auto fluorescence of the anti-cancer drug, DOX, our results suggest that the DNA nanostructure is a promising candidate, as a label-free nanocarrier, for DOX delivery, with great potential for anticancer therapy as well.