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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 765492, 21 pages
Review Article

Multifunctional DNA Nanomaterials for Biomedical Applications

1Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Biochip Research, City University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen 518057, China

Received 4 July 2014; Accepted 26 August 2014

Academic Editor: Daniela Predoi

Copyright © 2015 Dick Yan Tam and Pik Kwan Lo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The rapidly emerging DNA nanotechnology began with pioneer Seeman’s hypothesis that DNA not only can carry genetic information but also can be used as molecular organizer to create well-designed and controllable nanomaterials for applications in materials science, nanotechnology, and biology. DNA-based self-assembly represents a versatile system for nanoscale construction due to the well-characterized conformation of DNA and its predictability in the formation of base pairs. The structural features of nucleic acids form the basis of constructing a wide variety of DNA nanoarchitectures with well-defined shapes and sizes, in addition to controllable permeability and flexibility. More importantly, self-assembled DNA nanostructures can be easily functionalized to construct artificial functional systems with nanometer scale precision for multipurposes. Apparently scientists envision artificial DNA-based nanostructures as tool for drug loading and in vivo targeted delivery because of their abilities in selective encapsulation and stimuli-triggered release of cargo. Herein, we summarize the strategies of creating multidimensional self-assembled DNA nanoarchitectures and review studies investigating their stability, toxicity, delivery efficiency, loading, and control release of cargos in addition to their site-specific targeting and delivery of drug or cargo molecules to cellular systems.