Design and application of multifunctional DNA nanocarriers for therapeutic delivery. Academic Article uri icon


  • The unique programmability of nucleic acids offers versatility and flexibility in the creation of self-assembled DNA nanostructures. To date, many three-dimensional DNA architectures of varying sizes and shapes have been precisely formed. Their biocompatibility, biodegradability and high intrinsic stability in physiological environments emphasize their emerging use as carriers for drug and gene delivery. Furthermore, DNA nanocarriers have been shown to enter cells efficiently and without the aid of transfection reagents. A key strength of DNA nanocarriers over other delivery systems is their modularity and their ability to control the spatial distribution of cargoes and ligands. Optimizing DNA nanocarrier properties to dictate their localization, uptake and intracellular trafficking is also possible. This review presents design considerations for DNA nanocarriers and examples of their use in the context of therapeutic delivery applications. The assembly of DNA nanocarriers and approaches for loading and releasing cargo are described. The stability and safety of DNA nanocarriers are also discussed, with particular attention to the in vivo physiological environment. Mechanisms of cellular uptake and intracellular trafficking are examined, and the paper concludes with strategies to enhance the delivery efficiency of DNA nanocarriers.

published proceedings

  • Acta Biomater

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Charoenphol, P., & Bermudez, H.

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • Charoenphol, P||Bermudez, H

publication date

  • April 2014