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The study team functionalized the DNA nanocages with a cationic lipid molecule called DOTMA, which has a positively charged head group and a hydrophobic chain. “DOTMA has an affinity towards both DNA-nanocages and the cell membranes, which help the nanocages get inside cells,” Dr. Singh explains.

The team tested this for modification of a model nanocage, DNA tetrahedron, and found that the modified nanocages were taken up much better by the cancer cells than the unmodified ones, and didn't have any harmful effects on non-cancer cells.

The team comprises Ramesh Singh, Pankaj Yadav, Hema Naveena A, and Dhiraj Bhatia. The study has been published in the journal, Nanoscale.

India Science Wire