Researchers have discovered a new way to trap viruses and fight infections. In this method, DNA is transformed into origami-like nanocapsules in which the virus gets trapped and practically loses its capabilities.
Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have been trying to turn DNA into origami-like shapes for the past year. They have recently built hollow bodies with this technology that can kill viruses Trap And do not allow cells to become infected.
The team began by transforming DNA into a polygon. The DNA was then made into a hemisphere with 180 subunits, with attachment points attached to the viruses. The outer surface was also irradiated with UV and a combination of polyethylene glycol and oligolysin to prevent it from being lost in body fluids.
The researchers tested the traps in a laboratory on mouse serum and human body cells. The result was that the structures remained stable in serum for 24 hours, successfully trapping the hepatitis B virus and an adenovirus. In both cases, the viruses failed to infect the body’s cells.
“Even a simple shell of the right size can show a noticeable decline in virus activity,” said Hendrik Dietz, one of the researchers in the study. “If we put five hotspots for the virus, we can stop 80% of its activity.”
The researchers say their next step is to test these traps in mice. They expect the human body to respond appropriately to these structures. Researchers believe that this technology can be used for other purposes as well.
“Our programmable system can create other opportunities in addition to being used to trap viruses,” says Dietz. “It is conceivable that this technology could be used as a multivalent antigen carrier for vaccination, or as a DNA or RNA carrier for gene therapy, or as a drug carrier to different parts of the body.”