DNA origami nanostructures can exhibit preferential renal uptake and alleviate acute kidney injury

Dawei Jiang, Zhilei Ge, Hyung Jun Im, Christopher G. England, Dalong Ni, Junjun Hou, Luhao Zhang, Christopher J. Kutyreff, Yongjun Yan, Yan Liu, Steve Y. Cho, Jonathan W. Engle, Jiye Shi, Peng Huang, Chunhai Fan, Hao Yan, Weibo Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

272 Scopus citations


Patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) frequently require kidney transplantation and supportive therapies, such as rehydration and dialysis. Here, we show that radiolabelled DNA origami nanostructures (DONs) with rectangular, triangular and tubular shapes accumulate preferentially in the kidneys of healthy mice and mice with rhabdomyolysis-induced AKI, and that rectangular DONs have renal-protective properties, with efficacy similar to the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine—a clinically used drug that ameliorates contrast-induced AKI and protects kidney function from nephrotoxic agents. We evaluated the biodistribution of DONs non-invasively via positron emission tomography, and the efficacy of rectangular DONs in the treatment of AKI via dynamic positron emission tomography imaging with 68Ga-EDTA, blood tests and kidney tissue staining. DNA-based nanostructures could become a source of therapeutic agents for the treatment of AKI and other renal diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-877
Number of pages13
JournalNature Biomedical Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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