Biology of TiO2-oligonucleotide nanocomposites

Tatjana Paunesku, Tijana Rajh, Gary Wiederrecht, Jörg Maser, Stefan Vogt, Nataša Stojićević, Miroslava Protić, Barry Lai, Jeremy Oryhon, Marion Thurnauer, Gayle Woloschak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

290 Scopus citations


Emerging areas of nanotechnology hold the promise of overcoming the limitations of existing technologies for intracellular manipulation. These new developments provide approaches for the creation of chemical-biological hybrid nanocomposites that can be introduced into cells and subsequently used to initiate intracellular processes or biochemical reactions. Such nanocomposites would advance medical biotechnology, just as they are improving microarray technology and imaging in biology and medicine, and introducing new possibilities in chemistry and material sciences. Here we describe the behaviour of 45-Å nanoparticles of titanium dioxide semiconductor combined with oligonucleotide DNA into nanocomposites in vivo and in vitro. These nanocomposites not only retain the intrinsic photocatalytic capacity of TiO2 and the bioactivity of the oligonucleotide DNA (covalently attached to the TiO2 nanoparticle), but also possess the chemically and biologically unique new property of a light-inducible nucleic acid endonuclease, which could become a new tool for gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-346
Number of pages4
JournalNature materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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