A DNA nanostructure platform for directed assembly of synthetic vaccines

Xiaowei Liu, Yang Xu, Tao Yu, Craig Clifford, Yan Liu, Hao Yan, Yung Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

237 Scopus citations


Safe and effective vaccines offer the best intervention for disease control. One strategy to maximize vaccine immunogenicity without compromising safety is to rationally design molecular complexes that mimic the natural structure of immunogenic microbes but without the disease-causing components. Here we use highly programmable DNA nanostructures as platforms to assemble a model antigen and CpG adjuvants together into nanoscale complexes with precise control of the valency and spatial arrangement of each element. Our results from immunized mice show that compared to a mixture of antigen and CpG molecules, the assembled antigen-adjuvant-DNA complexes induce strong and long-lasting antibody responses against the antigen without stimulating a reaction to the DNA nanostructure itself. This result demonstrates the potential of DNA nanostructures to serve as general platforms for the rational design and construction of a variety of vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4254-4259
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 8 2012


  • DNA nanostructure
  • antibody response
  • immuno-adjuvant
  • mouse immunization
  • synthetic vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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