DNA nanotechnology has attracted intense interest because the unparalleled self-recognition properties of DNA molecules offer flexibility and convenience for “bottom-up” construction of exquisite nanostructures with high controllability and precision, and the promise that DNA nanostructures may service a wide range of applications, such as nanofabrication and molecular electronics, in-vivo and in-vitro sensing and drug delivery. DNA tetrahedral nanostructure, a three-dimensional (3D) DNA architecture, is of particular interest due to its mechanical rigidity and structural stability, which are suitable for higher-order organization of hybrid nanocomplexes and nanodevices.
In this presentation, I will demonstrate several examples of using DNA tetrahedral nanostructures for biomedical applications. A critical challenge in surface based biomolecular detection is the reduced accessibility of target molecules to probes arranged on heterogeneous surface compared to probe-target recognition in homogeneous solution. We demonstrate a new concept to achieve improved probe-target recognition properties by introducing a probe bearing 3D DNA nanostructure based platform, which provides significantly enhanced spatial positioning range and accessibility of the probes on surface over previously reported linear or stem-loop probe structures. I will also describe how we use DNA tetrahedral nanostructures as nanoscale agent for efficient delivery of therapeutic oligonucleotides. To dissect the cell entry of these virus-like DNA tetrahedral nanostructures, we employed single-particle tracking to visualize their internalization pathways.