Researchers from the University of Montreal, Canada and University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy have developed a molecular “slingshot” capable of firing a drug into the nearby environment when triggered by a biochemical marker. The slingshot is actually a helix of synthetic DNA the ends of which are designed to stick to a particular antibody. When both ends of the slingshot grab onto the antibody being targeted, the structure flexes and releases the drug that was trapped within it.
Targeting different antibodies, and therefore the underlying diseases that lead to their production, is a matter of designing the tips of the molecular slingshot to attach to the antibodies in question. The researchers have already demonstrated that the structure can be designed to accommodate different targets by creating three different slingshots that work with three different antibodies.
So far the molecular device was loaded with nucleic acid compounds as the drugs, but the researchers claim that a wide variety of chemicals can be used just as well within the device.
Open access study in Nature Communications: Antibody-powered nucleic acid release using a DNA-based nanomachine…