Targeted delivery and controlled release of oligonucleotide therapeutics in vivo are essential aspects of an ideal delivery vehicle. Here we demonstrate the synthesis and in vitro/intracellular characterization of silver nanoparticle (SNP) photolabile nucleic acid conjugates, with the aim of developing a nanoparticulate platform for inducible gene silencing. Due to unique size related properties, nanostructures are being increasingly utilized for intracellular diagnostics and delivery applications. While most nanoscale delivery platforms are polymeric in composition, studies of metallic nanoparticles have highlighted their suitability for delivery of therapeutic agents such as antisense oligonucleotides [1]. The potential benefits of noble metal nanoparticles in delivery applications include tunable size and shape, ease of bulk synthesis and functionalization via ‘wet chemistry’ techniques, and enhanced stability of tethered DNA [2]. Silver is one of the best surface-enhancing substrates available for nanostructure synthesis [3]. SNP composites afford external control over surface-tethered drug release via external triggers.

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