Molecular spherical nucleic acids

Hui Li, Bohan Zhang, Xueguang Lu, Xuyu Tan, Fei Jia, Yue Xiao, Zehong Cheng, Yang Li, Dagoberto O. Silva, Henri S. Schrekker, Ke Zhang*, Chad A. Mirkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Herein, we report a class of molecular spherical nucleic acid (SNA) nanostructures. These nano-sized single molecules are synthesized from T8 polyoctahedral silsesquioxane and buckminsterfullerene C60 scaffolds, modified with 8 and 12 pendant DNA strands, respectively. These conjugates have different DNA surface densities and thus exhibit different levels of nuclease resistance, cellular uptake, and gene regulation capabilities; the properties displayed by the C60 SNA conjugate are closer to those of conventional and prototypical gold nanoparticle SNAs. Importantly, the C60 SNA can serve as a single entity (no transfection agent required) antisense agent to efficiently regulate gene expression. The realization of molecularly pure forms of SNAs will open the door for studying the interactions of such structures with ligands and living cells with a much greater degree of control than the conventional polydisperse forms of SNAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4340-4344
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 24 2018


  • Gene regulation
  • Molecular nanoconjugates
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Spherical nucleic acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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