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Posted: Sep 27, 2013
DNA nanotechnology - sensing applications and drug release
(Nanowerk News) DNA/nanoparticle hybrid systems combine the unique electronic and optical properties of nanomaterials with the recognition and catalytic properties of nucleic acids. These materials hold great promise for the development of new sensing platforms, the programmed organization of nanoparticles, the switchable control of plasmonic phenomena in the nanostructures, and the controlled delivery of drugs.
The rich structural and functional properties of nucleic acids provide the basis for the rapidly developing area of DNA nanotechnology. Different research directions in the area of DNA nanotechnology may be identified, and these include
– the use of the recognition and catalytic properties of nucleic acids for sensing;
– the self-assembly of one-, two-, and three-dimensional DNA nanostructures;
– the use of DNA for the bottom-up construction of nanodevices;
– the development of DNA machines;
– and the application of nucleic acids as functional materials for biocomputing.
The paper, authored by Prof. Itamar Willner and his team, addresses one facet of their activities in the area of nanobiotechnology. Specifically, they discuss recent advances in applying nucleic acid/nanoparticle hybrids for sensing applications, controlling switchable plasmonic functions by means of DNA machines, and the implementation of such hybrid systems for controlled drug release.