Congrats to Shawn & Ido! How can you go wrong with robots. A different approach to “DNA computing” — I find this way cooler than logic-gated genes, but maybe that’s just me.
And congrats to George — see, I named all the authors right there. Three authors! THREE AUTHORS! The technology is sweet too but I don’t know how many stars have to align to get such a short author list in a Science/Nature biotech article these days.
We describe an autonomous DNA nanorobot capable of transporting molecular payloads to cells, sensing cell surface inputs for conditional, triggered activation, and reconfiguring its structure for payload delivery. The device can be loaded with a variety of materials in a highly organized fashion and is controlled by an aptamer-encoded logic gate, enabling it to respond to a wide array of cues. We implemented several different logical AND gates and demonstrate their efficacy in selective regulation of nanorobot function. As a proof of principle, nanorobots loaded with combinations of antibody fragments were used in two different types of cell-signaling stimulation in tissue culture. Our prototype could inspire new designs with different selectivities and biologically active payloads for cell-targeting tasks.