Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DNA nanotechnology: 'Magic Bullets' breakthrough offers promising applications in medicine

Date:
April 9, 2010
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Scientists have achieved a major breakthrough in the development of nanotubes. They have developed tiny "magic bullets" that could one day deliver drugs to specific diseased cells. The research involves taking DNA out of its biological context. So rather than being used as the genetic code for life, it becomes a kind of building block for tiny nanometre-scale objects.

Researchers have created the first examples of DNA nanotubes that encapsulate and load cargo, and then release it rapidly and completely when a specific external DNA strand is added.
Credit: Image courtesy of McGill University

A team of McGill Chemistry Department researchers led by Dr. Hanadi Sleiman has achieved a major breakthrough in the development of nanotubes -- tiny "magic bullets" that could one day deliver drugs to specific diseased cells. Sleiman explains that the research involves taking DNA out of its biological context. So rather than being used as the genetic code for life, it becomes a kind of building block for tiny nanometre-scale objects.

Related Articles


Using this method, the team created the first examples of DNA nanotubes that encapsulate and load cargo, and then release it rapidly and completely when a specific external DNA strand is added. One of these DNA structures is only a few nanometres wide but can be extremely long, about 20,000 nanometres. (A nanometre is one-10,000th the diameter of a human hair.)

Until now, DNA nanotubes could only be constructed by rolling a two-dimensional sheet of DNA into a cylinder. Sleiman's method allows nanotubes of any shape to be formed and they can either be closed to hold materials or porous to release them. Materials such as drugs could then be released when a particular molecule is present.

One of the possible future applications for this discovery is cancer treatment. However, Sleiman cautions, "we are still far from being able to treat diseases using this technology; this is only a step in that direction. Researchers need to learn how to take these DNA nanostructures, such as the nanotubes here, and bring them back to biology to solve problems in nanomedicine, from drug delivery, to tissue engineering to sensors," she said.

The team's discovery was published on March 14, 2010 in Nature Chemistry. The research was made possible with funding from the National Science and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pik Kwan Lo, Pierre Karam, Faisal A. Aldaye, Christopher K. McLaughlin, Graham D. Hamblin, Gonzalo Cosa & Hanadi F. Sleiman. Loading and selective release of cargo in DNA nanotubes with longitudinal variation. Nature Chemistry, 14 March 2010 DOI: 10.1038/nchem.575

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "DNA nanotechnology: 'Magic Bullets' breakthrough offers promising applications in medicine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317161950.htm>.
McGill University. (2010, April 9). DNA nanotechnology: 'Magic Bullets' breakthrough offers promising applications in medicine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317161950.htm
McGill University. "DNA nanotechnology: 'Magic Bullets' breakthrough offers promising applications in medicine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100317161950.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins