Cancer-Fighting DNA Nanorobots Could Target Specific Cells for Repair

drug-delivering nanorobot
Images courtesy of Shawn M. Douglas / Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Wyss Institute scientists have developed a drug-delivering nanorobot that looks like an open-ended barrel (above). The exterior surface of the device is programmed to recognize a target on a cell surface; the drug payload (purple) is secured with anchor strands (yellow) to the interior. Double-stranded DNA latches (blue, red, and orange) ensure that the robot unlocks only in the presence of a molecular key expressed by the target cells. That opens the device (below right), enabling the payload to attack only the designated cells.

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