Functional Nucleic Acid Nanomaterials: Development, Properties, and Applications

Wentao Xu, Wanchong He, Zaihui Du, Liye Zhu, Kunlun Huang, Yi Lu, Yunbo Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Functional nucleic acid (FNA) nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary field between nucleic acid biochemistry and nanotechnology that focuses on the study of interactions between FNAs and nanomaterials and explores the particular advantages and applications of FNA nanomaterials. With the goal of building the next-generation biomaterials that combine the advantages of FNAs and nanomaterials, the interactions between FNAs and nanomaterials as well as FNA self-assembly technologies have established themselves as hot research areas, where the target recognition, response, and self-assembly ability, combined with the plasmon properties, stability, stimuli-response, and delivery potential of various nanomaterials can give rise to a variety of novel fascinating applications. As research on the structural and functional group features of FNAs and nanomaterials rapidly develops, many laboratories have reported numerous methods to construct FNA nanomaterials. In this Review, we first introduce some widely used FNAs and nanomaterials along with their classification, structure, and application features. Then we discuss the most successful methods employing FNAs and nanomaterials as elements for creating advanced FNA nanomaterials. Finally, we review the extensive applications of FNA nanomaterials in bioimaging, biosensing, biomedicine, and other important fields, with their own advantages and drawbacks, and provide our perspective about the issues and developing trends in FNA nanotechnology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6890-6918
Number of pages29
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 22 2021


  • DNAzymes
  • aptamers
  • bioimaging
  • biosensing
  • functional nucleic acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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