Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 321772
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: Israel

Periodic Report Summary 1 - DNA NANO-ROUTERS (Logical re-routing of cellular communication networks by DNA origami nanorobot)

Brief background:
Many complex diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma and Crohn’s Disease, are maintained by the ability of multiple cell types to freely communicate across the body. Since these cell populations are scattered between different locations, they can be difficult to target using a single drug. Consequently, managing these diseases often requires long term combination therapies. However, if we could re-route the cell-cell communication network underlying the disease, we could either skew it to a desired course or potentially alleviate it. Here we propose to do this using a unique technology: "nano-routers", programmable nanoscale robots, built from DNA, for the logical manipulation of cell-cell communication.

Summary description of the project objectives:
The objective of project NANOROUTERS is to implement nanoscale DNA devices known as nanorobots, in re-routing molecular communication between cells. Cellular communication in organisms and multicellular colonies of bacteria etc is reponsible for large-scale behaviors such as disease, virulence, and more. Taking control over the network and manipulating it is a strategy that can potentially abrogate such behaviors or skew them to desired directions. Altogether, the project's goals for the current time period have been achieved almost completely, with a working prototype ready for rodent testing in 2017.

Description of performed work:
Since the beginning of the project, much attention has been dedicated to the refinement of the system to be smoother (by replacing the originally proposed antibodies with aptamers for signal capture), more efficient, and more elegant. This is not merely aesthetic but rather increases dramatically the chances for success. The originally proposed insect models have been replaced in favor of biomimetic systems such as organ-on-chip which are significantly better suited for future medical applications. Moreover we learned how to increase the scale and yield of robot manufacturing in order to enable larger experiments and in larger animal models (rodents), in addition to improving certain pharmacological parameters of the robot themselves.
Importantly, specifically to the aims of this project, we have been experimenting on foraging behavior programs (on which the nano-routing principle is based) in cell-based and cell-free models and quantitated robot foraging kinetics and precision.

Attached file: robot foraging scheme.
This scheme shows the general concept of foraging by nano-routers.

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Life Sciences
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