DNA-Based Nanostructures for Live-Cell Analysis

Sasha B. Ebrahimi, Devleena Samanta, Chad A. Mirkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


DNA-based probes constitute a versatile platform for making biological measurements due to their ability to recognize both nucleic acid and non-nucleic acid targets, ease of synthesis and chemical modification, amenability to be interfaced with signal amplification schemes, and inherent biocompatibility. Here, we provide a historical perspective of how a transition from linear DNA structures toward more structurally complex nanostructures has revolutionized live-cell analysis. Modulating the structure gives rise to probes that can enter cells without the aid of transfection reagents and can detect, track, and quantify analytes in live cells at the single-organelle, single-cell, tissue section, and whole organism levels. We delineate the advantages and disadvantages associated with different probe architectures and describe the advances enabled by these structures for elucidating fundamental biology as well as developing improved diagnostic and theranostic systems. We also discuss the outstanding challenges in the field and outline potential solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11343-11356
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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