Navigation Links
Not your conventional nucleic acids

Northwestern University's Chad A. Mirkin, a world-renowned leader in nanotechnology research and its application, has invented and developed a powerful material that could revolutionize biomedicine: spherical nucleic acids (SNAs).

Mirkin will discuss SNAs and their applications in therapeutics and diagnostics in a talk titled "Nanostructures in Biology and Medicine" at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston. His presentation is part of the symposium "Convergence of Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences: Next Innovation Economy" to be held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.

Potential applications include using SNAs to carry nucleic acid-based therapeutics to the brain for the treatment of glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer, as well as other neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Mirkin is aggressively pursuing treatments for such diseases with Alexander H. Stegh, an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.

"These structures are really quite spectacular and incredibly functional," Mirkin said. "People don't typically think about DNA in spherical form, but this novel arrangement of nucleic acids imparts interesting chemical and physical properties that are very different from conventional nucleic acids."

Spherical nucleic acids consist of densely packed, highly oriented nucleic acids arranged on the surface of a nanoparticle, typically gold or silver. The tiny non-toxic balls, each roughly 15 nanometers in diameter, can do things the familiar but more cumbersome double helix can't do:

  • SNAs can naturally enter cells and effect gene knockdown, making SNAs a superior tool for treating genetic diseases using gene regulation technology.
  • SNAs can easily cross formidable barriers in the human body, including the blood-brain barrier and the layers that make up skin.
  • SNAs don't elicit an immune response, and they resist degradation, resulting in longer lifetimes in the body.

"The field of medicine needs new constructs and strategies for treating disease," Mirkin said. "Many of the ways we treat disease are based on old methods and materials. Nanotechnology offers the ability to rapidly create new structures with properties that are very different from conventional forms of matter."

Mirkin is the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and professor of medicine, chemical and biological engineering, biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering. He is director of Northwestern's International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN).

Last year, Mirkin and Amy S. Paller, M.D., chair of dermatology and professor of pediatrics at Feinberg, were the first to demonstrate the use of commercial moisturizers to deliver gene regulation technology for skin cancer therapy. The drug, consisting of SNAs, penetrated the skin's layers and selectively targeted disease-causing genes while sparing normal genes.

"We now can go after a whole new set of diseases," Mirkin said. "Thanks to the Human Genome Project and all of the genomics research over the last two decades, we have an enormous number of known targets. And we can use the same tool for each, the spherical nucleic acid. We simply change the sequence to match the target gene. That's the power of gene regulation technology."


Contact: Megan Fellman
Northwestern University

Related medicine news :

1. The Natural Mattress Store Announces Expose on Conventional Mattress Sales
2. T9 Tube: the Replacement for 40W Conventional Tube from Zhongtian Lighting
3. Marriage Expert Hellen Chen Shares an Unconventional Approach to Making More Money In 2013
4. PET/CT shows clear advantages over conventional staging for breast cancer patients
5. 22W LED T9 Tube is Released to Replace the 40W Conventional Tube by Zhongtian Lighting
6. The Alternative for Conventional Bulb from Zhongtian Lighting
7. Minimally invasive lymph node dissection in breast cancer has advantages over conventional surgery
8. Newer technology to control blood sugar works better than conventional methods
9. CAM therapy combined with conventional medical care may improve treatment of lower back pain
10. Isothermal Nucleic Acid Amplification Technologies (INAAT) Market is growing at an estimated CAGR of 17% & to reach $1.6 Billion by 2017 - by MarketsandMarkets
11. Analysis of conflicting fish oil studies finds that omega-3 fatty acids still matter
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... contact center software Q-Suite, announces the incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term ... fully supported Asterisk 11 LTS brings Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they also ... buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales to ... Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, they can see ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... Express Travel Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and ... destination wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and special ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and ... offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group . These fields, ... 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the company’s website, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... opinion process, participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits ... place Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), ... the March of Dimes cheered today,s signature into ... Act of 2015 (S.799), which takes much-needed ... exposed to drugs, such as opioids, and to ... three organizations have worked together leading advocacy efforts ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, the ... Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for product liability and ... implant device, awarded $11 million in favor of ... and three days of deliberations, the jury found ... designed and unreasonably dangerous, and that Wright Medical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: