Tao Zhou:Research

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Self-assembled highly programmable 3D DNA nano structure and related application

  • Development of high yield, in-situ size tunable self-assembled DNA dendrimer (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. accepted.)

We developed an enzyme-free method to swiftly prepare large-size DNA dendrimer with a high yield and further confer it size responsiveness by introducing DNA molecular motors into the scaffold. The high yield DNA dendrimer is expected to be used in drug delivery, biosensor and other fields. The responsiveness is expected to be used in nano scale bionic system.

  • Development of DNA dendritic structure using 3D DNA monomers and related application (in preparation)

We developed a strategy using 3D DNA monomers, DNA tetrahedron, to fabricate DNA dendritic structures. The cavity in the DNA tetrahedron is expected to bundle Au NPs, biomolecules (for example, proteins) and locate them to obtain 3D arrays.

  • Enhanced immunostimulatory activity of immunostimulatory oligonucleotides and peptides by DNA dendrimer (in preparation)

(Collaboration with Prof. Yanmei Li’s group) We aimed at using programmable DNA nanostructures as platforms for synthetic tumor antigen (peptides) and CpG adjuvants together to enhance their immunostimulatory activity and cure tumor.

  • Scaffold induces the DNA-dendron hybrids assemble to size and shape controllable vesicles (manuscript in preparation)

We developed highly programmable scaffold to induce the assembly of amphiphilic molecules. Because of the programmability of the scaffold, the size and shape of assembled vesicles could be controlled according to this strategy.

Development of functional DNA hydrogels

  • Envelope and release of single cell by enzyme-switched DNA hydrogel gate (manuscript in preparation)

In our previous work, we have reported self-assembled DNA hydrogels with designable thermal and enzymatic responsiveness (Y. Xing, D. Liu, et al. Adv. Mater. 2011, 23, 1117–1121). In this study, we used this kind of DNA hydrogel to envelope single cell. Because of the enzymatic responsiveness of the hydrogel, the enveloped cells could be released by the adding of enzyme. This strategy is expected to find application in single cell analyze and transportation of certain cells.

  • A pH-driven, fast-responding macroscopic volume change of dynamic DNA-polymer hybrids hydrogels

We aimed at preparing a pH-driven, fast-responding macroscopic volume changeable DNA-polymer hybrids hydrogels. The responsive hydrogel was expected to be used in artificial muscles and other fields. We modified DNA sequences with alkyne and modified polyvinylalcohol (PVA) with azido. Click chemistry was employed to link PVA and DNA. Volume change of the hydrogel is expected to achieve by introducing pH responsible DNA molecular motors in to DNA sequences. This work has been suspended because a similar work has been published. (L. Peng, Z. Zhong, W. Tan, et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 12302–12307)