Drug delivery and DNA nanotechnology

Drug delivery and DNA nanotechnology


When we talk about nano,
we talk about nanometers. A nanometer is one billionth
the length of a meter. To get an idea of it, the size difference
of a 1by1 nanometer cube and an eyeball, – is the same as the size difference
between an eyeball and the whole earth. Anders is a Ph.D.-student and is working in the field
of nano medicine and, more specifically, drug delivery. It is important to realize, that things at the nanoscale
behaves very differently from the things at our scale. At our scale an important force is gravity,
that keeps our feet on the ground, but at the nanoscale, there are other forces
that become more important, For example, hydrogen bonding or electrostatic forces
and here gravity doesn’t play an important part. It requires some imagination to understand
how things behave at the nanoscale, – and even though I have been studying nanotechnology
for quite some years right now, – it it still very difficult for me to grasp these nanoscale sizes. At iNANO at Aarhus university,
there is a lot of interesting nano science going on. It ranges from foods, medicine and materials. I am working in the field of nano medicine
and, more specifically, drug delivery. When we get sick, it is often because a subset of our cells,
either becomes infected or change in behavior. This is for example true for the devastating disease cancer, where one
of our own cells changes in behavior and can become malignant. That means that it divides vigorously and produces tumors. In treatment, the conventional chemotherapeutic drugs
are often associated with unwanted side effects – since they not only affect the cancer cells but also healthy cells. In treatment it is common to use chemotherapeutic agents
that kills the cancer cells, but also other cells in our body that divide. That is for example seen for patients that loose their hair, – but it is also associated with other and more serious side effects
like pain, infections or an impaired immune system. Targeted drug delivery describes a new medical
concept in which a therapeutic compound – is transported around the body to reach its target site,
for example cancer cells, before taking action. To realize this, it requires some sophisticated drug design. A cancer tumor in the body will often have other
molecules associated with it than the healthy cells. And if we can identify these molecules
we can hopefully produce and design new drug devices – that can identify these molecules and thereby
deliever the drug only to cells that are malignant. And this would have many
advantages over conventional chemotherapy. A new way of using Nanotechnology in the drug design
is inspired by the Japanese art – – of folding paper — called origami — in this context DNA origami. In 2009, people from iNano, builded a
3-dimensional DNA origami box structure. To get an idea of the scale, the box is about 40 nanometers on
each site, and that is still much smaller than the cancer cells. The box will be designed with a controllable lid
to be opened by molecules from the cancer cells – when it reaches the diseased part of the body. The building blocks we use to produce
new drug delivery vehicles is DNA. And this might come as a surprise since usually
we know a DNA as the storage of genetic information – which is found in all living organisms on this planet. The fascinating things about this method
is that these structures self-assemble – so that you don’t have to show where each
of the different strands should position, – but they find their position just by themselves,
because it is programmed into their sequence. And the researchers showed that you can open
the lit upon recognition of specific molecules, – that are found in abundance in cancer cells. This makes it possible to realize nanoscale devices
that can identify sick from healthy cells, – and only cure the sick cells
in that specific part of body. It is important to notice, that the box
is not as big as the cancer cell on this picture. On this scale the box will be too small
to see and has therefore been enlarged. DNA origami structures have an exceptional potential
for being used as a drug delivery vehicle. However, applications for DNA origami structures in therapy,
is not something we will see in the near future. Currently the structures are still very expensive
to produce in amounts for therapeutic purposes – and still a lot of challenges must be addressed. Like all drugs it will have to be thoroughly tested
for safety before it could be used. It is our hope, that DNA nanotechnology can bring us
one step closer to the realization of nano-devices – that can perform complicated tasks inside our body
with high specificity and high precision.

3 thoughts on “Drug delivery and DNA nanotechnology”

  1. Hello,I must say to please be careful. They are using nanotechnology that is inside the body of everyone to poison, or administrate sleep, or negative drug effects. This leads to one blaming the other that he or she has poisoned them. This leads to the destruction of relationship's. I am giving you a message. It is very sneaky and deceptive. Very satanic. They are even doing auditory hallucination so you may think someone has said something about you at a distance, another room etc… I repeat please be aware, they are using satelite, electro magnetic waves, and even scalar waves, also nanobots that do covert drugging who are the culprits of many negative effects such as hollucinogenic, sleep patterns etc and Auditory hallucination, this then leads you to fighting with family members, as you then believe they have poisoned you or are talking about you from a distance. And fighhts start…. The world is going to the worst part. Becareful everyone. They can even manipulate anger inside you. Try to be conciouss of your feeling. Organized stalking. Gangstalking. Usaf. Government sponsored terrorism. NWO

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