ZnO-loaded DNA nanogels as neutrophil extracellular trap-like structures in the treatment of mouse peritonitis

Yu Fon Chen, Yee Hsuan Chiou, Yi Cheng Chen, Yi Sheng Jiang, Ting Yuan Lee, Jeng Shiung Jan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are chromatin-based structures that are released from neutrophils during infections and prevent microbes from spreading in the body through efficient degradation of their composition. Based on this chromatin-driven strategy of capturing and killing bacteria, we designed NET-like structures using DNA and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs). DNA was first purified from kiwifruit and treated with HCl to increase hydroxyl groups in the opened-deoxylribose form. The carboxyl groups of citric acid were then thermally crosslinked with said hydroxyl and primary amine groups in DNA, forming DNA-HCl nanogels (NGs). ZnO NPs were then used as positively charged granule enzymes, adsorbed onto the DNA-HCl NG, obtaining ZnO/DNA-HCl NGs (with NET biomimicry). In an anti-inflammatory assay, ZnO/DNA-HCl NGs significantly inhibited TNF-α, IL-6, iNOS and COX-2 expression in LPS-stimulated Raw264.7 cells. Moreover, the ZnO/DNA-HCl NGs markedly alleviated clinical symptoms in LPS-induced mouse peritonitis. Finally, ZnO/DNA-HCl NGs suppressed E. coli from entering circulation in septic mice while prolonging their survival. Our results suggest that the ZnO/DNA-HCl NGs, which mimic NET-like structures in the blocking of bacteria-inducted inflammation, may be a potential therapeutic strategy for bacterial infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112484
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials


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