DNA Origami Delivers Anti-Cancer Drug

DNA origami could be used to deliver harmful anti-cancer drugs in a more targeted fashion, study shows.

AsianScientist (Jul 10, 2014) – Scientists have shown that DNA origami can be used for the targeted delivery of cancer drugs to tumor cells in mice. The study documenting these findings has been published in the journal ACS Nano.

The research team led by Dr. Ding Baoquan and Dr. Du Yang from the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology and the Institute of Automation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences demonstrated that DNA origami loaded with the anti-cancer drug doxoribucin could be used to treat cancer in a targeted fashion, thereby reducing side effects.

They showed that the injected DNA origami accumulated at the tumor cells due to the leakiness of the blood vessels at tumor cell mass. Once accumulated at the tumor cells, the DNA origami structure degraded naturally, releasing the drug in the process. By tagging the DNA origami with quantum dots which emit light under fluorescence imaging, the researchers could image the DNA origami distribution inside the mouse in real time, showing greatest accumulation in the tumor, followed by the liver and kidney.

After 12 days, mice treated with drugs delivered by DNA origami had a smaller tumor volume than mice treated with the drug alone, indicating that DNA origami is potentially a superior drug delivery method.

Previous work on DNA origami carrying drugs were only done in vitro. This demonstration in vivo expands the current library of nanomaterials that could potentially be used for cancer therapeutics, apart from the already established nanomaterials such as liposomes, micelles, and gold nanoparticles.

The article can be found at: Zhang et al. (2014) DNA Origami as an In Vivo Drug Delivery Vehicle for Cancer Therapy.


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Daniele Adami/Flickr/CC.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Chandra is an editor working at World Scientific Publishing. He has a PhD in biomaterials engineering.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist