Self-assembled multifunctional DNA nanospheres for biosensing and drug delivery into specific target cells†
Self-assembly of three dimensional nucleic acid nanostructures is of great significance in nanotechnology, biosensing and biomedicine. Herein we present a novel class of multifunctional and programmable DNA nanostructures, termed nanospheres (NSs), with monodispersity, dense compaction and uniform size (∼200 nm) using only four DNAs based on not only Watson–Crick base pair hybridization between single-stranded DNA but also liquid crystallization and dense packing from periodic DNA duplexes. Due to the diversity of the internal structures, the present NSs can easily evolve into other kinds of DNA assemblies, such as DNA spherical structures with a larger size and a rough surface via rolling circle replication (RCR). Importantly, the functional arms incorporated in building units can be readily designed for biosensing and targeted cancer therapy with high payload capacity and excellent biocompatibility. Therefore, the proposed NSs could lead to novel routes for nucleic acid self-assembly, promising versatile applications in biosensing and biomedicine.