Crop Biotech Update

Experts Combine the Power of CRISPR and Spherical Nucleic Acids for Therapeutics

October 20, 2022

A group of scientists at Northwestern University developed a way to transform the Cas9 protein into a spherical nucleic acid (SNA) and load it with vital components for accessing an extensive range of tissue and cell types, as well as the intracellular compartments essential for gene editing. The research paper is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The team was led by nanotechnology pioneer Chad Mirkin. The protein Cas9 used for CRISPR serves the core of the structure, with attached DNA strands to its surface to make a new type of SNA. The SNAs were pre-loaded with RNA that can perform gene editing and fused with peptides to control their ability to navigate compartmental barriers of the cell and maximizing efficiency. These SNAs, similar to other types, efficiently get through the cells without the use of transfection agents and exhibit high gene editing efficiency.

The combination of CRISPR gene editing and SNA has the potential to transform the landscape of medical therapeutics.

Read the news article in Northwestern Now.

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