DNA nanotechnology in neural engineering: A perspective




Vargas, Merlyn

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DNA nanotechnology has great potential as a platform to enhance neural engineering approaches. DNA based nanoparticles are biocompatible and easy to functionalize [1]. Peptides or proteins can be conjugated to DNA nanoparticles to target specific cells and tissues [2], [3], as well as imaging agents to help diagnosis and monitoring purposes [4], [5]. In addition, recent studies have shown the capacity of some DNA based nanoparticles to cross the blood-brain barrier to target brain tumors in rats [4]. Others have shown DNA-peptide nanoparticles that enhanced differentiation of neural stem cell proliferation and neural differentiation [6], as well as new technologies to construct DNA-based molecular circuitry [7]. Besides all of these promising features offered by DNA nanotechnology, DNA has also shown to be a great scaffold for the production of nanoelectronics, giving a realistic perspective of the creation of nano devices that can target a desired tissue or cell and perform as nanochips for diagnosis, sensing or modulatory functions. Therefore, this work reviews some of the characteristics of nanotechnology and DNA-based nanoelectronics that are favorable for the development of nanodevices as neural system probes, as well as some perspectives for this type of technology in the field of neural engineering.



Neural engineering, DNA nanotechnology, Neuromodulation, Deep brain stimulation