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DNA “Nano-Claw”: Logic-Based Autonomous Cancer Targeting and Therapy

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journal contribution
posted on 29.01.2014 by Mingxu You, Lu Peng, Na Shao, Liqin Zhang, Liping Qiu, Cheng Cui, Weihong Tan
Cell types, both healthy and diseased, can be classified by inventories of their cell-surface markers. Programmable analysis of multiple markers would enable clinicians to develop a comprehensive disease profile, leading to more accurate diagnosis and intervention. As a first step to accomplish this, we have designed a DNA-based device, called “Nano-Claw”. Combining the special structure-switching properties of DNA aptamers with toehold-mediated strand displacement reactions, this claw is capable of performing autonomous logic-based analysis of multiple cancer cell-surface markers and, in response, producing a diagnostic signal and/or targeted photodynamic therapy. We anticipate that this design can be widely applied in facilitating basic biomedical research, accurate disease diagnosis, and effective therapy.