Delivery methods used up to now have suffered from cytotoxicity, poor targeting and low delivery efficiency. The approach taken by Dr. Hsian-Rong Tseng’s team makes use of a nanowire and supramolecular nanoparticles (SNPs). The nanowire is coated with a molecular recognition motif. The motif’s binding partner is used to coat the SNPs containing the drug or other molecule to be delivered. As they come together in the cell culture medium, the wire substrate is able to concentrate the SNPs and enhance their local interactions with the cell. This combined approach—nanowire plus nanoparticle—showed greater than 90% efficiency in biomolecule delivery.
The technology was successful in delivering a diverse range of molecules, from genes to RNA to proteins, drugs or reporters, into a whole range of cells known to be difficult to transfect.