How to change the aggregation in the DNA/surfactant/cationic conjugated polyelectrolyte system through the order of component addition: anionic versus neutral surfactants

María Monteserín, Hugh D Burrows, Ricardo Mallavia, Roberto E Di Paolo, Antonio L Maçanita, María J Tapia
Langmuir: the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids 2010 July 20, 26 (14): 11705-14
The competitive interaction has been studied between double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), the cationic conjugated polyelectrolyte (CPE) poly[9,9-bis(6-N,N,N-trimethylamonium)hexyl)-fluorene-phenylene)] bromide (HTMA-PFP) and anionic or neutral surfactants (sodium dodecyl sulfonate, SDSu, and n-dodecyl pentaoxyethylene glycol ether, C(12)E(5)) in 4% (v/v) dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)-water using UV/visible absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy. Dramatic changes are observed in the spectroscopic behavior of the system depending on the order of addition of the reagents, the surfactant charge, and concentration range. If the neutral C(12)E(5) is added to the HTMA-PFP/dsDNA complex, no significant spectroscopic changes are observed. However, if SDSu is added to the same complex, a dramatic increase of the absorbance and emission intensity is observed for surfactant concentrations above the critical micelle concentration (cmc). In contrast, if dsDNA is added to HTMA-PFP/surfactant systems (with surfactant concentrations above their cmc) no significant changes are observed with SDSu, while a dramatic quenching of polymer emission is observed with C(12)E(5), which can be explained quantitatively in terms of HTMA-PFP/surfactant/DNA complexation and the subsequent polymer aggregation upon charge neutralization. The results are compared with those for the binary systems (HTMA-PFP/DNA and HTMA-PFP/surfactants) and indicate the importance of electrostatic interactions between HTMA-PFP and oppositely charged species in the aggregation processes.

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