Molecular origami heralds a new era in medicine
All things in the natural world are created by molecules. For example, healthily functioning animal and plant cells assume their correct shape through a programmed assembly of such minute chemical particles. Diseases such as cancer result when those carefully created molecular patterns go awry. Health depends on order.
Alas, despite huge advances in medicine, disease and sickness are still as prevalent and destructive as ever. What we need is a new radical approach to healing. Imagine a self-replicating robot the size of a grain of pollen and tailor-made for your body that can deliver the particular drug you need to the specific cells in your body that are diseased.
This is not science fiction, but rather the very likely outcome of cutting-edge research we are conducting in our labs here at iCeMS. Welcome to the fascinating world of molecular engineering and DNA Origami.
In DNA Origami we fold and bind long strands of DNA with shorter ‘stickier’ DNA to create tailor-made, unique molecular structures. Just as a child might take Lego blocks to build ever-more complex and varied toys, we designDNA sequences into which we can incorporate specific functions depending on our research application.
All this happens, of course, at a size less than 1000th the width of a human hair. Such minuscule creations have the ability to directly reach to a cell without creating damage, which has massive implications for medicine and pharmaceuticals of the future. Your MD – Molecule Doctor – will see you soon.