Biomod/2012/TU Dresden/Nanosaurs/Project/References

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We accomplished our goal of tethering vesicles of different sizes successfully. But, we were not able to include the signal driven aptamer system due to the short duration available. Thus, we plan to use the aptamer with the closed origami structure for further experiments to prove that our system is indeed controllable. We also plan to introduce this tethering system into living cells or endosomes and observe the various impacts that this system might have on vesicle fusion, internalization etc.

Potential applications

1. Vesicle networks:

Vesicle networks with a defined connectivity and orientation can be achieved with our system. The catcher strands on the origami can be modified in several ways like having a certain complementary sequence, antibodies, biotin or any other possible modifications. Therefore, vesicles with the complementary origami system can bind to specific vesicles in determined orientations, thus establishing a highly complex and organized network.

2. Molecular fishing:

The inherent capability of the tethering system can be used to ‘fish’ certain target species from the blood or other solutions. The catcher strands can have antibodies specific to an antigen or any multi-component affinity system. For example, this system can be used to fish out any harmful peptide toxins using specific antibodies coupled to the catcher strands. It can also be used in ex-vivo applications.

3. Targeted drug-delivery :

The efficiency of drug targeting and delivery using liposomes is currently very low and the processes behind this phenomenon are mostly unknown. Increasing the efficiency of the liposomes can be achieved by making them more specific and targeted. We intend to achieve the same using our system by loading the vesicles with the respective drug and when these vesicles moving freely in the blood stream encounter elevated levels of specific protein ligands around the vicinity of the target cell, the origami structure is opened and leads to agglutinization of the vesicles near the target cell. This leads to increased local concentration of the drug and maybe even increases the efficiency of these drug delivery systems.

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