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Breaking News: The HarvarDNAnos are awarded second runner up for the Grand Prize at the 2011 BioMod Jamboree!

DNA Origami Containers

Previous work has showcased the use of scaffolded DNA origami to self-assemble nanoscale, three-dimensional shapes with enclosed, hollow interiors. We explore the possibility of using such structures to load, entrap, and release soluble nanoscale cargo, with potential future applications in drug delivery and molecular signal amplification. Specifically, we design a rectangular box structure that can encapsulate gold nanoparticles and subsequently release them by a two-step process: a) photocleavage, which solubilizes the nanoparticle within the box, and b) introduction of a DNA signal, which opens the box by strand-displacement. We further investigate the use of an existing spherical origami design for similar purposes, and demonstrate opening of the sphere.


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