Grafting from a Hybrid DNA-covalent polymer by the hybridization chain reaction

Willem E.M. Noteborn, Joeri A.J. Wondergem, Anastasiia Iurchenko, Farhad Chariyev-Prinz, Dominique Donato, Ilja K. Voets, Doris Heinrich, Roxanne E. Kieltyka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    54 Downloads (Pure)


    Nucleic acid-polymer conjugates are an attractive class of materials endowed with tunable and responsive character. Herein, we exploit the dynamic character of nucleic acids in the preparation of hybrid DNA-covalent polymers with extendable grafts by the hybridization chain reaction. Addition of DNA hairpins to an initiator DNA-dextran graft copolymer resulted in the growth of the DNA grafts as evidenced by various characterization techniques over several length scales. Additionally, aggregation of the initiator DNA-graft copolymer before the hybridization chain reaction was observed resulting in the formation of kinetically trapped aggregates several hundreds of nanometers in diameter that could be disrupted by a preheating step at 60 °C prior to extension at room temperature. Materials of increasing viscosity were rapidly formed when metastable DNA hairpins were added to the initiator DNA-dextran grafted copolymer with increasing concentration of the components in the mixture. This study shows the potential for hierarchical self-assembly of DNA-grafted polymers through the hybridization chain reaction and opens the door for biomedical applications where viscosity can be used as a readout.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5157-5164
    Number of pages8
    Issue number14
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2018

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