DNA—lipid systems. An amphiphile self-assembly and polymer-surfactant perspective

  • Bjorn Lindman
  • S. Mel’nikov
  • Y. Mel’nikova
  • T. Nylander
  • K. Eskilsson
  • M. Miguel
  • R. Dias
  • C. Leal
Conference paper
Part of the Progress in Colloid and Polymer Science book series (PROGCOLLOID, volume 120)


The interaction between DNA and oppositely charged surfactants has been investigated by several techniques, like fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy, phase diagram determination, and ellipsometry. The phase behaviour is more strongly associative than that in previously studied systems. A precipitate is formed for very low amounts of surfactant and DNA. DNA compaction is a general phenomenon in the presence of multivalent ions and positively charged surfaces; because of the high charge density there are strong attractive ion correlation effects. The interaction between DNA and catanionic mixtures (i.e., mixtures of cationic and anionic surfactants) was also investigated. We observed that DNA compacts and adsorbs onto the surface of positively charged vesicles and that the addition of anionic surfactant can release free DNA back into solution from a compact globular complex between DNA and cationic surfactant. Finally, we investigated DNA interactions with polycations, chitosans with different chain lengths, by fluorescence microscopy, in vivo transfections assays and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy. The general conclusion is that a chitosan effective in promoting compaction is also efficient in transfection.

Key words

DNA Cationic surfactants Catanionic mixtures Chitosan Phase behaviour 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bjorn Lindman
    • 1
  • S. Mel’nikov
    • 1
  • Y. Mel’nikova
    • 1
  • T. Nylander
    • 1
  • K. Eskilsson
    • 1
  • M. Miguel
    • 2
  • R. Dias
    • 2
  • C. Leal
    • 2
  1. 1.Physical Chemistry 1, Center for Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Chemistry DepartmentUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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