Recent work in biomolecule-metal-organic framework (MOF) composites has proven to be an effective strategy for the protection of proteins. However, for other biomacromolecules such as nucleic acids, the encapsulation into nano MOFs and the related characterizations are in their infancy. Herein, encapsulation of a complete gene-set in zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) MOFs and cellular expression of the gene delivered by the nano MOF composites are reported. Using a green fluorescent protein (GFP) plasmid (plGFP) as a proof-of-concept genetic macromolecule, successful transfection of mammalian cancer cells with plGFP for up to 4 days is shown. Cell transfection assays and soft X-ray cryo-tomography (cryo-SXT) demonstrate the feasibility of DNA@MOF biocomposites as intracellular gene delivery vehicles. Expression occurs over relatively prolonged time points where the cargo nucleic acid is released gradually in order to maintain sustained expression.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2019|