Designer DNA–silica/carbon nanotube nanocomposites for traceable and targeted drug delivery†
Due to their unique properties like porosity, high water content, softness and biocompatibility, hydrogels are of great interest for biomedical applications such as tissue engineering and drug delivery. We describe a programmable drug delivery system that is based on highly biocompatible SiNP/CNT–DNA nanocomposites, which can be synthesized in a highly modular fashion from DNA-functionalized carbon nanotubes and silica nanoparticles via enzymatic rolling circle amplification. Specific molecular recognition properties were implemented into the materials by DNA sequence design, as demonstrated by incorporation of GC/CG-rich stem loop and aptamer motifs that enable selective binding of intercalating drugs and cell surface receptors, respectively. In a proof-of-concept study we demonstrate the utility of this approach by targeting nanocomposites loaded with the anthracycline drug doxorubicin to HeLa cancer cells. Our observation that these designer materials work more efficiently than the pure drug alone suggests that further developments of the concept might be useful to selectively trigger more complex cellular pathways.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Open Access Articles