Our focus for BIOMOD is to utilize DNA to make a shell like structure which can capture molecules inside the body, as if a shellfish is capturing its prey. The device, named DNA Shell, can exhibit functionalities such as highly sensitive detection, enzyme protection, and attachment to solid surfaces. All these new functionalities are the result of this new capturing mechanism that we call the "Shell Mechanism" and the feasibility of modifications on the DNA structure. The functionalities of the DNA shell, along with the enzyme that is captured, may allow us to open up fields of applications in chemical and medical applications, such as in bioreactors and in biomolecule detection.
The DNA shell is made of three domains of DNA origamis. The two domains would be used to capture enzymes, and the last domain would be used to attach to a solid surface as is shown in Fig.2. Our experiments were done using a certain protein called Streptavidin. To widen the types of enzymes that could be captured in the DNA Shell, there needs to be more work to be done to find different aptamers that bind specifically to certain enzymes. However, with such developments, we hope and strongly believe that this nano-device would give innovative boost to the enzyme application.