This project explores the use of breakthrough DNA nanotechnology to engineer and evaluate materials that can address major challenges in our health and food system. Specifically, it will use aptamer-amphiphiles as DNA nanotubes to target and treat Alzheimer’s disease and brain tumors and as sensors to detect food allergens such as milk-protein. These DNA nanotubes have the potential to deliver compounds of interest to the brain safely, efficiently and affordably, while aptamer-amphiphiles have high specificity for milk-protein with the potential of an ultrafast analytical time. Such research involving DNA nanotechnology raises questions of ethics, law and policy that researchers will analyze to generate recommendations.
Principal Investigator: Efie Kokkoli, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Co-Investigators: Karen Ashe, Neurology; Ted Labuza, Food Science and Engineering; Walter Low, Neurosurgery; Scott McIvor, Genetics, Cell Biology and Development; Susan Wolf, Center for Bioethics