DNA Nanotechnology

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