Nanocages May Be Used to Deliver Drugs

Nanocages May Be Used to Deliver Drugs

In a new study, McGill University researchers have reported that nanoscale ‘cages’ – which are formed with strands of DNA – are capable of encapsulating drugs and releasing them when a specific stimulus is present.

This research represents an important advancement in the use of biological nanostructures for delivery of drugs to the diseased cells of patients. The results could create new possibilities for the design of DNA-based nanomaterials.

The research is important in terms of drug delivery technologies, as well as for basic structural biology and nanotechnology.

There are particular advantages for DNA structures, rather than synthetic materials, being used for the delivery of drugs within the body. DNA structures are preferable because they can be built with increased precision, they are biodegradable and it is quite easy to tune their size, shape and DNA properties.

Because they can be made to release drugs when a particular nucleic acid sequence is present, DNA cages are important.

It is understood that diseased cells (including cancer cells) overexpress particular genes. It is possible that, in the future, a DNA cube may be created that transports drug cargo to the environment of the diseased cell and release of the drug will be triggered.