DNA is naturally water soluble, biocompatible, and can form many higher ordered nanostructures dependent on their base sequence. The ability to specify the sequence and the utility of automated benchtop PCR synthesis allows for a variety of three-dimensional structures, such as tetrahedrons, dendrimers, and even DNA nanoflowers, to be constructed.
Within these highly branched structures, a number of functional materials can be conjugated to the DNA to allow for high loadings of diagnostic or therapeutic agents. We are currently examining the incorporation of fluorescent nanoclusters into these ordered materials to enhance their utility as multimodal contrast agents in cellular targeting and intracellular imaging applications.
Thomas Nann Research group
University of Newcastle, Australia
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand