Hybrid nanoassemblies from viruses and DNA nanostructures

Sofia Ojasalo, Petteri Piskunen, Boxuan Shen, Mauri A. Kostiainen*, Veikko Linko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


Viruses are among the most intriguing nanostructures found in nature. Their atomically precise shapes and unique biological properties, especially in protecting and transferring genetic information, have enabled a plethora of biomedical applications. On the other hand, structural DNA nanotechnology has recently emerged as a highly useful tool to create programmable nanoscale structures. They can be extended to user defined devices to exhibit a wide range of static, as well as dynamic functions. In this review, we feature the recent development of virus-DNA hybrid materials. Such structures exhibit the best features of both worlds by combining the biological properties of viruses with the highly controlled assembly properties of DNA. We present how the DNA shapes can act as “structured” genomic material and direct the formation of virus capsid proteins or be encapsulated inside symmetrical capsids. Tobacco mosaic virus-DNA hybrids are discussed as the examples of dynamic systems and directed formation of conjugates. Finally, we highlight virus-mimicking approaches based on lipid-and protein-coated DNA structures that may elicit enhanced stability, immunocompatibility and delivery properties. This development also paves the way for DNA-based vaccines as the programmable nano-objects can be used for controlling immune cell activation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1413
Number of pages15
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • Biomedicine
  • Capsid
  • DNA nanotechnology
  • DNA origami
  • Nanofabrication
  • Protein
  • Self-assembly
  • Vaccine
  • Virus


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