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DNA origami Nanorobot for Biosensing and Delivery

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Emanuela Torelli


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DNA is an attractive material for programmable synthesis of intricate nanoscale architectures characterized by functions with molecular precision. We have designed, produced and tested a 3D DNA origami (14x14x48 nm; internal cavity 3 zeptoliters) with a movable flap, whose opening movement is controlled by the hybridization status of an externally born DNA sensor probe (yellow in figure). The actuation is specifically triggered by the interaction with an external nucleic acid (red) according to a pulling process. Upon hybridization target/probe, the actuated flap exposes an horseradish peroxidase mimicking DNAzyme precursor (green) and in the presence of hemin (gold) the complex hemin/G-quadruplex DNAzyme catalyzes a colorimetric or chemiluminescent reaction.[1] The nanorobot is used as an autonomous biosensor that has been proven able to detect picomol amounts of a viral DNA target. The versatile DNA probe and the control mechanism reported here are well suited for the development of DNA nanorobot-based sensor that can be used for the detection of specific toxins. In detail aDNA aptamer[2] is introduced into the probe sequence of the switchable nanorobot to detect a fungal toxin, ochratoxin A (OTA), which is nephrotoxic, teratogenic, immunosuppressive, carcinogenic, and represents one of the most common mycotoxins contaminating feed and foodstuffs. The OTA-specific probe can bind with high affinity and specificity OTA.Currently we are exploiting the newly designed biosensor for OTA detection and for intelligent delivery of biological activators.References[1]E. Torelli et al. (2014). A DNA Origami Nanorobot Controlled by Nucleic Acid Hybridization. Small, 10: 2918-2926. [2]J.A. Cruz-Aguado and G. Penner (2008). Determination of ochratoxin A with a DNA aptamer. J Agric Food Chem, 22: 10456-10461.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Torelli E, Polano C, Piantanida L, Lazzarino M, Firrao G

Editor(s): Marks, RS

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Negev Global Issues 2015: Impact on Energy, Environment, Health and Water

Year of Conference: 2015

Online publication date: 27/05/2015

Acceptance date: 02/03/2015