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Home Industry News Molecular slingshot created to aid drug delivery

Molecular slingshot created to aid drug delivery

10th May 2017

International researchers have developed a type of molecular slingshot that could make it easier to deliver drugs to precisely targeted locations.

Created by scientists at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the University of Montreal, the slingshot has been created using DNA and is 20,000 times smaller than a human hair, measuring only a few nanometres in length.

It consists of a synthetic DNA strand that can load a drug and act similarly to the rubber band of a slingshot, with the two ends of the strand containing anchoring moieties that can specifically stick to a target antibody. 

When the anchoring moieties of the slingshot recognise and bind to the arms of the target antibody, the strand is stretched and the loaded drug is released. The high programmability of DNA chemistry means it could be used to deliver a wide range of therapeutic molecules.

Francesco Ricci, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, said: "We envision that similar molecular slingshots may be used in the near future to deliver drugs to specific locations in the body. This would drastically improve the efficiency of drugs as well as decrease their toxic secondary effects."

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