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Functional DNA Nanostructures for Photonic and Biomedical Applications



DNA nanostructures, especially DNA origami, receive close interest because of the programmable control over their shape and size, precise spatial addressability, easy and high-yield preparation, mechanical flexibility, and biocompatibility. They have been used to organize a variety of nanoscale elements for specific functions, resulting in unprecedented improvements in the field of nanophotonics and nanomedical research. In this review, the discussion focuses on the employment of DNA nanostructures for the precise organization of noble metal nanoparticles to build interesting plasmonic nanoarchitectures, for the fabrication of visualized sensors and for targeted drug delivery. The effects offered by DNA nanostructures are highlighted in the areas of nanoantennas, collective plasmonic behaviors, single-molecule analysis, and cancer-cell targeting or killing. Finally, the challenges in the field of DNA nanotechnology for realistic application are discussed and insights for future directions are provided.