DNA Aptamer-Passivated Nanocrystal Synthesis: A Facile Approach for Nanoparticle-Based Cancer Cell Growth Inhibition


  • We gratefully acknowledge financial support through NSF Career and Beckman Young Investigator Awards (to M.S.S.). K.H.C. acknowledges the National Science Scholarship from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research of Singapore. J.-H.H. acknowledges support from the Korea Research Foundation (MOEHRD, KRF-2006-214-D00117).


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A class of DNA aptamers, recognizing and therapeutically targeting cancer cells, remains functional while forming stable colloidal PbS and Fe3O4 nanocrystals. The aptamer-passivated nanocrystals (see image) are non-cytotoxic to normal cells, whereas MCF-7 human breast cancer cells incorporated with these particles have significantly reduced proliferation. The nanoparticle-aptamer systems provide a platform for novel nanoparticle therapeutics.