Interfacing DNA nanotechnology and biomimetic photonic complexes: advances and prospects in energy and biomedicine

Xu Zhou, Su Lin, Hao Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Self-assembled photonic systems with well-organized spatial arrangement and engineered optical properties can be used as efficient energy materials and as effective biomedical agents. The lessons learned from natural light-harvesting antennas have inspired the design and synthesis of a series of biomimetic photonic complexes, including those containing strongly coupled dye aggregates with dense molecular packing and unique spectroscopic features. These photoactive components provide excellent features that could be coupled to multiple applications including light-harvesting, energy transfer, biosensing, bioimaging, and cancer therapy. Meanwhile, nanoscale DNA assemblies have been employed as programmable and addressable templates to guide the formation of DNA-directed multi-pigment complexes, which can be used to enhance the complexity and precision of artificial photonic systems and show the potential for energy and biomedical applications. This review focuses on the interface of DNA nanotechnology and biomimetic photonic systems. We summarized the recent progress in the design, synthesis, and applications of bioinspired photonic systems, highlighted the advantages of the utilization of DNA nanostructures, and discussed the challenges and opportunities they provide. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number257
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Bioimaging
  • Biosensing
  • Cancer therapy
  • DNA nanotechnology
  • Dye aggregates
  • Energy transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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