Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanorobot for transporting drugs in the body

Date:
December 2, 2013
Source:
Aarhus University
Summary:
The first step has been taken towards developing a nanorobot that -- in the long run -- will enable the targeted transport of medications in the body.

A nanorobot is a popular term for molecules with a unique property that enables them to be programmed to carry out a specific task. In collaboration with colleagues in Italy and the USA, researchers at Aarhus University have now taken a major step towards building the first nanorobot of DNA molecules that can encapsulate and release active biomolecules.

In time, the nanorobot (also called a DNA nanocage) will no doubt be used to transport medications around in the body and thereby have a targeted effect on diseased cells.

Design using the body's natural molecules

Using DNA self-assembly, the researchers designed eight unique DNA molecules from the body's own natural molecules. When these molecules are mixed together, they spontaneously aggregate in a usable form -- the nanocage (see figure).

The nanocage has four functional elements that transform themselves in response to changes in the surrounding temperature. These transformations either close (figure 1A) or open (figure 1B) the nanocage. By exploiting the temperature changes in the surroundings, the researchers trapped an active enzyme called horseradish peroxidase (HRP) in the nanocage (figure 1C). They used HRP as a model because its activity is easy to trace.

This is possible because the nanocage's outer lattice has apertures with a smaller diameter than the central spherical cavity. This structure makes it possible to encapsulate enzymes or other molecules that are larger than the apertures in the lattice, but smaller than the central cavity.

The researchers have just published these results in the renowned journal ACS Nano. Here the researchers show how they can utilise temperature changes to open the nanocage and allow HRP to be encapsulated before it closes again.

They also show that HRP retains its enzyme activity inside the nanocage and converts substrate molecules that are small enough to penetrate the nanocage to products inside.

The encapsulation of HRP in the nanocage is reversible, in such a way that the nanocage is capable of releasing the HRP once more in reaction to temperature changes. The researchers also show that the DNA nanocage -- with its enzyme load -- can be taken up by cells in culture.

Looking towards the future, the concept behind this nanocage is expected to be used for drug delivery, i.e. as a means of transport for medicine that can target diseased cells in the body in order to achieve a more rapid and more beneficial effect.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Sissel Juul, Federico Iacovelli, Mattia Falconi, Sofie L. Kragh, Brian Christensen, Rikke Frψhlich, Oskar Franch, Emil L. Kristoffersen, Magnus Stougaard, Kam W. Leong, Yi-Ping Ho, Esben S. Sψrensen, Victoria Birkedal, Alessandro Desideri, Birgitta R. Knudsen. Temperature-Controlled Encapsulation and Release of an Active Enzyme in the Cavity of a Self-Assembled DNA Nanocage. ACS Nano, 2013; 7 (11): 9724 DOI: 10.1021/nn4030543

Cite This Page:

Aarhus University. "Nanorobot for transporting drugs in the body." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202121534.htm>.
Aarhus University. (2013, December 2). Nanorobot for transporting drugs in the body. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202121534.htm
Aarhus University. "Nanorobot for transporting drugs in the body." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202121534.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) — Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) — TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) — Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) — When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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