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Feb 18, 2016
 |  BC Innovations  |  Translation in Brief

Poring over DNA

"Lockable" DNA channels control compound release by lipid nanoparticles

Researchers at University College London (UCL) have built "lockable" DNA nanopores that control the release of molecular cargo from vesicles using oligonucleotide "keys". The team thinks the straightforward design principles and low cost of DNA channel engineering could enable widespread use of the technology, including therapeutic applications such as the targeted release of toxic chemotherapeutics.

The channels were developed in the lab of Stefan Howorka, an associate professor and reader in chemical biology at UCL, whose group described the technology in Nature Nanotechnology in January. In the study, his team showed a nanopore barrel composed of six linked DNA strands could be closed by an oligonucleotide, then opened by the addition of a complementary...

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