Nanorobots Deliver

Science Signaling  21 Feb 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 212, pp. ec63
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2002969

DNA aptamers are short strands that have high binding affinity for a target protein that can be used as triggers for releasing cargo from delivery vehicles. Douglas et al. used this strategy to design DNA origami “nanorobots”—complex-shaped structures created by manipulating a long DNA strand through binding with shorter “staple” strands—that could deliver payloads such as gold nanoparticles or fluorescently labeled antibody fragments. These nanorobots were designed to open in response to specific cell surface proteins, releasing molecules that triggered cell signaling.

S. M. Douglas, I. Bachelet, G. M. Church, A logic-gated nanorobot for targeted transport of molecular payloads. Science 335, 831–834 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]