Prospective Cancer Therapies Using Stimuli‐Responsive DNA Nanostructures

Iris Seitz, Ahmed Shaukat, Kurt Nurmi, Heini Ijäs, Jouni Hirvonen, Hélder A. Santos, Mauri A. Kostiainen*, Veikko Linko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Nanostructures based on DNA self-assembly present an innovative way to address the increasing need for target-specific delivery of therapeutic molecules. Currently, most of the chemotherapeutics being used in clinical practice have undesired and exceedingly high off-target toxicity. This is a challenge in particular for small molecules, and hence, developing robust and effective methods to lower these side effects and enhance the antitumor activity is of paramount importance. Prospectively, these issues could be tackled with the help of DNA nanotechnology, which provides a route for the fabrication of custom, biocompatible, and multimodal structures, which can, to some extent, resist nuclease degradation and survive in the cellular environment. Similar to widely employed liposomal products, the DNA nanostructures (DNs) are loaded with selected drugs, and then by employing a specific stimulus, the payload can be released at its target region. This review explores several strategies and triggers to achieve targeted delivery of DNs. Notably, different modalities are explained through which DNs can interact with their respective targets as well as how structural changes triggered by external stimuli can be used to achieve the display or release of the cargo. Furthermore, the prospects and challenges of this technology are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100272
Number of pages21
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number12
Early online date13 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


Dive into the research topics of 'Prospective Cancer Therapies Using Stimuli‐Responsive DNA Nanostructures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this