Posted on Jun 24, 2014, 6 a.m.
DNA-based nanosensor measures pH variation inside cells.
A strong correlation exists between cancer and pH, in that cancer cells often display a lower pH compared to normal cells, that is – the pH level inside cancer cells is higher than it is outside. Andrea Idili, from the University of Rome (Italy), and colleagues have developed a DNA-based nanosensor that allows to measure pH variation at the nanoscale. This nanosensor measures less than 10 nm and unfolds at a specifically programmed pH. The study authors submit that: “With their fast response time (<200 ms) and high reversibility, these pH-triggered nanoswitches appear particularly suitable for applications ranging from the real-time monitoring of pH changes in vivo to the development of pH sensitive smart nanomaterials,” and are hopeful that their device may lead to efforts to build nanodevices for cancer in-vivo imaging and targeted drug-delivery.
Idili A, Vallee-Belisle A, Ricci F. “Programmable pH-triggered DNA nanoswitches.” J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Apr 23;136(16):5836-9.