Gold nanorods were attached to the gene of enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) for the remote control of gene expression in living cells. The UV-vis spectroscopy, electrophoresis, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to study the optical and structural properties of the EGFP DNA and gold nanorod (EGFP-GNR) conjugates before and after femto-second near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation. Upon NIR irradiation, the gold nanorods of EGFP-GNR conjugates underwent shape transformation that resulted in the release of EGFP DNA. When EGFP-GNR conjugates were delivered to cultured HeLa cells, induced GFP expression was specifically observed in cells that were locally exposed to NIR irradiation. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of using gold nanorods and NIR irradiation as means of remote control of gene expression in specific cells. This approach has potential applications in biological and medical studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry