DNA hydrogels as special members in the DNA nanotechnology have provided crucial prerequisites to create innovative gels owing to their sufficient stability, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and tunable multifunctionality. These properties have tailored DNA hydrogels for various applications in drug delivery, tissue engineering, sensors, and cancer therapy. Recently, DNA-based materials have attracted substantial consideration for the exploration of smart hydrogels, in which their properties can change in response to chemical or physical stimuli. In other words, these gels can undergo switchable gel-to-sol or sol-to-gel transitions upon application of different triggers. Moreover, various functional motifs like i-motif structures, antisense DNAs, DNAzymes, and aptamers can be inserted into the polymer network to offer a molecular recognition capability to the complex. In this manuscript, a comprehensive discussion will be endowed with the recognition capability of different kinds of DNA hydrogels and the alternation in physicochemical behaviors upon target introducing. Finally, we offer a vision into the future landscape of DNA based hydrogels in sensing applications.
Keywords: DNA hydrogels; Gel to sol; Molecular diagnosis; Smart hydrogel; Sol to gel.
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