Self-Assembling DNA Nano-Cages Have Drug Delivery Potential
Scientists at Harvard University's Wyss Institute have built a set of self-assembling DNA cages one-tenth as wide as a bacterium - some of the largest and most complex structures ever constructed solely from DNA. In the future, scientists could potentially coat the DNA cages to enclose their contents, packaging drugs for delivery to tissues. After building the cages, the scientists visualized them using a DNA-based microscopy method called DNA-PAINT. In DNA-PAINT, short strands of modified DNA cause points on a structure to blink, and data from the blinking images reveal structures too small to be seen with a conventional light microscope. DNA-PAINT produced ultrasharp snapshots of the researchers' DNA cages – the first 3D snapshots ever of single DNA structures in their native, watery environment.