Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > DNA nanorobots find and tag cellular targets

This graphic shows a molecular robot (automaton) in action. To tag cells (grey circle) that display the Mi, Mj, and Mk receptors, five different components of a molecular robot are deployed. Each of the first three components consists of DNA and an antibody; one antibody binds to each receptor, bringing its DNA (represented by the colored lines) close together on the cell. The fourth DNA component, represented by the single red line, then initiates a chain reaction by pulling the red DNA strand away from the first antibody. That causes the blue DNA strand to change position, followed by the green DNA strand. In the final step, the last antibody pulls a fluorescent DNA strand (labeled F) from the fifth component, completing the action of the robot.

Credit: Milan Stojanovic, Ph.D./Columbia University Medical Center
This graphic shows a molecular robot (automaton) in action. To tag cells (grey circle) that display the Mi, Mj, and Mk receptors, five different components of a molecular robot are deployed. Each of the first three components consists of DNA and an antibody; one antibody binds to each receptor, bringing its DNA (represented by the colored lines) close together on the cell. The fourth DNA component, represented by the single red line, then initiates a chain reaction by pulling the red DNA strand away from the first antibody. That causes the blue DNA strand to change position, followed by the green DNA strand. In the final step, the last antibody pulls a fluorescent DNA strand (labeled F) from the fifth component, completing the action of the robot.

Credit: Milan Stojanovic, Ph.D./Columbia University Medical Center

Abstract:
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center, working with their collaborators at the Hospital for Special Surgery, have created a fleet of molecular "robots" that can home in on specific human cells and mark them for drug therapy or destruction.

DNA nanorobots find and tag cellular targets

New York, NY | Posted on August 7th, 2013

The nanorobots—a collection of DNA molecules, some attached to antibodies —were designed to seek a specific set of human blood cells and attach a fluorescent tag to the cell surfaces. Details of the system were published July 28, 2013, in the online edition of Nature Nanotechnology.

"This opens up the possibility of using such molecules to target, treat, or kill specific cells without affecting similar healthy cells," said the study's senior investigator, Milan Stojanovic, PhD, associate professor of medicine and of biomedical engineering at Columbia University Medical Center. "In our experiment, we tagged the cells with a fluorescent marker; but we could replace that with a drug or with a toxin to kill the cell."

Though other DNA nanorobots have been designed to deliver drugs to cells, the advantage of Stojanovic's fleet is its ability to distinguish cell populations that do not share a single distinctive feature.

Cells, including cancer cells, rarely possess a single, exclusive feature that sets them apart from all other cells. This makes it difficult to design drugs without side effects. Drugs can be designed to target cancer cells with a specific receptor, but healthy cells with the same receptor will also be targeted.

The only way to target cells more precisely is to identify cells based on a collection of features. "If we look for the presence of five, six, or more proteins on the cell surface, we can be more selective," Dr. Stojanovic said. Large cell-sorting machines have the ability to identify cells based on multiple proteins, but until now, molecular therapeutics have not had that capability.

How It Works

Instead of building a single complex molecule to identify multiple features of a cell surface, Dr. Stojanovic and his colleagues at Columbia used a different, and potentially easier, approach based on multiple simple molecules, which together form a robot (or automaton, as the authors prefer calling it).

To identify a cell possessing three specific surface proteins, Dr. Stojanovic first constructed three different components for molecular robots. Each component consisted of a piece of double-stranded DNA attached to an antibody specific to one of the surface proteins. When these components are added to a collection of cells, the antibody portions of the robot bind to their respective proteins (in the figure, CD45, CD3, and CD8) and work in concert.

On cells where all three components are attached, a robot is functional and a fourth component (labeled 0 below) initiates a chain reaction among the DNA strands. Each component swaps a strand of DNA with another, until the end of the swap, when the last antibody obtains a strand of DNA that is fluorescently labeled.

At the end of the chain reaction—which takes less than 15 minutes in a sample of human blood—only cells with the three surface proteins are labeled with the fluorescent marker.

"We have demonstrated our concept with blood cells because their surface proteins are well known, but in principle our molecules could be deployed anywhere in the body," Dr. Stojanovic said. In addition, the system can be expanded to identify four, five, or even more surface proteins.

Now the researchers must show that their molecular robots work in a living animal; the next step will be experiments in mice.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R21CA128452, RC2CA147925, R21EB014477 and RGM104960), the National Science Foundation (CCF-0218262, CCF-0621600, ECCS-1026591, and CBET-1033288), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NAS2-02039), and the Lymphoma and Leukemia Foundation.

The researchers declare no financial or other conflicts of interests.

####

About Columbia University Medical Center
Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit cumc.columbia.edu or columbiadoctors.org.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Karin Eskenazi

212-342-0508

Copyright © Columbia University Medical Center

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

BSA Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, 10/14: 'LCLS: A Stunning New View Through X-ray Laser Eyes' September 23rd, 2014

Brookhaven Lab's National Synchrotron Light Source II Approved to Start Routine Operations: Milestone marks transition to exciting new chapter September 23rd, 2014

Immune system is key ally in cyberwar against cancer: Rice University study yields new two-step strategy for weakening cancer September 23rd, 2014

Los Alamos Researchers Uncover New Properties in Nanocomposite Oxide Ceramics for Reactor Fuel, Fast-Ion Conductors: Misfit dislocations are key to transport properties across material interfaces September 23rd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Brookhaven Lab's National Synchrotron Light Source II Approved to Start Routine Operations: Milestone marks transition to exciting new chapter September 23rd, 2014

Southampton scientists grow a new challenger to graphene September 23rd, 2014

Nanotubes help healing hearts keep the beat: Rice University, Texas Children’s Hospital patch for defects enhances electrical connections between cells September 23rd, 2014

Immune system is key ally in cyberwar against cancer: Rice University study yields new two-step strategy for weakening cancer September 23rd, 2014

Molecular Machines

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

University of Illinois researchers demonstrate novel, tunable nanoantennas July 14th, 2014

Molecular Nanotechnology

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Nanomedicine

Nanotubes help healing hearts keep the beat: Rice University, Texas Children’s Hospital patch for defects enhances electrical connections between cells September 23rd, 2014

Immune system is key ally in cyberwar against cancer: Rice University study yields new two-step strategy for weakening cancer September 23rd, 2014

Production of Organometallic Frameworks in Least Possible Time September 23rd, 2014

Engineered proteins stick like glue — even in water: New adhesives based on mussel proteins could be useful for naval or medical applications September 22nd, 2014

Discoveries

Future flexible electronics based on carbon nanotubes: Study in Applied Physics Letters show how to improve nanotube transistor and circuit performance with fluoropolymers September 23rd, 2014

Nanotubes help healing hearts keep the beat: Rice University, Texas Children’s Hospital patch for defects enhances electrical connections between cells September 23rd, 2014

Immune system is key ally in cyberwar against cancer: Rice University study yields new two-step strategy for weakening cancer September 23rd, 2014

Los Alamos Researchers Uncover New Properties in Nanocomposite Oxide Ceramics for Reactor Fuel, Fast-Ion Conductors: Misfit dislocations are key to transport properties across material interfaces September 23rd, 2014

Announcements

Future flexible electronics based on carbon nanotubes: Study in Applied Physics Letters show how to improve nanotube transistor and circuit performance with fluoropolymers September 23rd, 2014

Nanotubes help healing hearts keep the beat: Rice University, Texas Children’s Hospital patch for defects enhances electrical connections between cells September 23rd, 2014

Immune system is key ally in cyberwar against cancer: Rice University study yields new two-step strategy for weakening cancer September 23rd, 2014

Los Alamos Researchers Uncover New Properties in Nanocomposite Oxide Ceramics for Reactor Fuel, Fast-Ion Conductors: Misfit dislocations are key to transport properties across material interfaces September 23rd, 2014

Research partnerships

Future flexible electronics based on carbon nanotubes: Study in Applied Physics Letters show how to improve nanotube transistor and circuit performance with fluoropolymers September 23rd, 2014

Biosensors Get a Boost from Graphene Partnership: $5 Million Investment Supports Dozens of Jobs and Development of 300mm Fabrication Process and Wafer Transfer Facility September 18th, 2014

The Pocket Project will develop a low-cost and accurate point-of-care test to diagnose Tuberculosis: ICN2 holds a follow-up meeting of the Project on September 18th - 19th September 18th, 2014

Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners: September 17th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE