Loading and Selective Release of Cargo in DNA Nanotubes

DNA Nanotechnology Breakthrough Offers Promising Applications in Medicine

ScienceDaily (Mar. 17, 2010) — 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.

DNA nanotubes

DNA nanotubes can carry and release cargo on demand

DNA nanotechnology

DNA nanotechnology is a branch of nanotechnology which uses the unique molecular recognition properties of DNA and other nucleic acids to create designed, controllable structures out of DNA. This has possible applications in molecular self-assembly and in DNA computing. In this field, DNA is used as a structural material rather than as a carrier of genetic information, making it an example of bionanotechnology.

Clipped from: Hanadi Sleiman

Welcome to the Sleiman Research Group

Click here to read about our research 
(link 1, link 2, link 3 )

Our research group focuses on developing the supramolecular chemistry of DNA, to address problems in both biology and nanoscience. We use this approach to design new materials for drug delivery, diagnostic tools, antitumor therapeutics, and higher-order DNA structures for the fine organization of materials on the nanometer scale.

All aboard the DNA nanotube

Sleiman's nanotubes comprise triangular DNA 'rungs' in which the corner units are rigid organic molecules.   These triangles are connected vertically using DNA strands, thus creating a nanotube structure with evenly spaced, alternating triangular 3D capsules of two different sizes (approximately 7nm and 14nm along one edge).
When the team assembled double stranded nanotubes in the presence of different sized gold nanoparticles, the particles became trapped inside their respective sized capsules like peas in a pod. 'In effect the nanotubes act like sieves, and select the correct sizes to encapsulate,' says Sleiman.

To release the cargo, the team added specific strands of DNA that are complementary to the DNA strands that close-in the particles. This causes the nanotubes to become single stranded, thus opening up the capsules and allowing the gold nanoparticles to escape.

  1. DNA nanotechnology breakthrough offers promising applications in medicine
  2. YouTube - DNA nanotubes
  3. DNA nanotechnology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  4. Hanadi Sleiman
  5. All aboard the DNA nanotube
  1. Loading and selective release of cargo in DNA nanotubes with longitudinal variation : Abstract : Nature Chemistry
  2. Teaching an old DNA new tricks
  3. News: DNA nanotechnology breakthrough offers promising applications in medicine
  4. DNA nanotechnology breakthrough offers promising applications in medicine
  5. Breakthrough in DNA Nanotube Research