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The University of Southampton
Chemistry

Research project: Khalid: Self Assembly of DNA-lipid complexes for gene therapy

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We are using coarse grain molecular dynamics (CG MD) simulations to study the self assembly of DNA-CL complexes.

DNA-cationic lipid (DNA-CL) complexes are promising candidates as DNA delivery vehicles for gene therapy. While it is known that the structure of DNA-CL complexes strongly affects their ability to deliver DNA, full exploitation of such complexes as DNA carriers has been hampered, in part by the poor understanding of the nature of the interactions of DNA with lipids, and of the mechanisms by which DNA may enter cells. DNA has been shown to form particularly strong complexes with cationic lipids such as DMTAP and DOTAP. A variety of DNA-CL complex morphologies have been reported. These include a lamellar phase in which DNA monolayers are sandwiched between bilayers of neutral and cationic lipids, and an inverted hexagonal phase in which the DNA is encapsulated within inverse cylindrical micelles.

We are using coarse grain molecular dynamics (CG MD) simulations to study the self assembly of DNA-CL complexes. An understanding of the mechanism of complex formation as well as DNA release from the complex will allow us to design more efficient DNA delivery vehicles

Related research groups

Computational Systems Chemistry
DNA embedded in a random arrangement of lipids and ion (water omitted for clarity)
DNA embedded in lipids and ion
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