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Conor Lanphere: DNA Nanodevices with Selective Immune Cell Interaction and Function

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DNA nanotechnology produces precision nanostructures of defined chemistry. Expanding their use in biomedicine requires designed biomolecular interaction and function.

Of topical interest are DNA nanostructures that function as vaccines with potential advantages over nonstructured nucleic acids in terms of serum stability and selective interaction with human immune cells.

Here, we describe how compact DNA nanobarrels bind with a 400-fold selectivity via membrane anchors to white blood immune cells over erythrocytes, without affecting cell viability.

The selectivity is based on the preference of the cholesterol lipid anchor for the more fluid immune cell membranes compared to the lower membrane fluidity of erythrocytes. Compacting DNA into the nanostructures gives rise to increased serum stability. 

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