Engineering DNA-based functional materials

Chem Soc Rev. 2011 Dec;40(12):5730-44. doi: 10.1039/c1cs15162b. Epub 2011 Aug 19.


While DNA is a genetic material, it is also an inherently polymeric material made from repeating units called nucleotides. Although DNA's biological functions have been studied for decades, the polymeric features of DNA have not been extensively exploited until recently. In this tutorial review, we focus on two aspects of using DNA as a polymeric material: (1) the engineering methods, and (2) the potential real-world applications. More specifically, various strategies for constructing DNA-based building blocks and materials are introduced based on DNA topologies, which include linear, branched/dendritic, and networked. Different applications in nanotechnology, medicine, and biotechnology are further reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Bioengineering / methods*
  • DNA* / chemistry
  • DNA* / genetics
  • Dendrimers / chemistry
  • Nanotechnology


  • Dendrimers
  • DNA