Biomod/2014/NTU

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Abstract

The immune system is not fail-safe and sometimes requires a booster during an infection. Here we design a versatile jellyfish-like device/nano-robot that is able to enhance the immune system. We have chosen the hemagglutinin type 5 protein (H5) of influenza virus as our target because current treatment faces problems of drug resistance and lengthy vaccine production. The device, initially a ball-shaped dimer, contains two types of tentacles, one being H5 aptamer, and the other being either poly-cytosine (poly-C) or poly-guanine (poly-G) sequences. Upon binding H5, the dimer dissociates, releasing the packaged immuno-stimulatory molecule and exposing poly-C and poly-G. Binding between poly-C and poly-G allows aggregation of the virus-bound monomer. The device/nano-robot is versatile since targets could be modified by changing the attached aptamers. It could potentially provide better treatment for diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, as well as enhance experimental techniques such as bioassays and protein purification.