Programmable display of DNA-protein chimeras for controlling cell-hydrogel interactions via reversible intermolecular hybridization

Zhaoyang Zhang, Shihui Li, Niancao Chen, Cheng Yang, Yong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Extensive studies have been recently carried out to achieve dynamic control of cell-material interactions primarily through physicochemical stimulation. The purpose of this study was to apply reversible intermolecular hybridization to program cell-hydrogel interactions in physiological conditions based on DNA-antibody chimeras and complementary oligonucleotides. The results showed that DNA oligonucleotides could be captured to and released from the immobilizing DNA-functionalized hydrogels with high specificity via DNA hybridization. Accordingly, DNA-antibody chimeras were captured to the hydrogels, successfully inducing specific cell attachment. The cell attachment to the hydrogels reached the plateau at approximately half an hour after the functionalized hydrogels and the cells were incubated together. The attached cells were rapidly released from the bound hydrogels when triggering complementary oligonucleotides were introduced to the system. However, the capability of the triggering complementary oligonucleotides in releasing cells was affected by the length of intermolecular hybridization. The length needed to be at least more than 20 base pairs in the current experimental setting. Notably, because the procedure of intermolecular hybridization did not involve any harsh condition, the released cells maintained the same viability as that of the cultured cells. The functionalized hydrogels also exhibited the potential to catch and release cells repeatedly. Therefore, this study demonstrates that it is promising to regulate cell-material interactions dynamically through the DNA-programmed display of DNA-protein chimeras.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1174-1180
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 8 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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