August 14, 2013

Nano-graphene promises more effective treatment for Hepatitis C

14-08-2013: Scientists in Korea have developed a DNA enzyme delivery system based on nano-sized graphene oxide that simultaneously senses and silences the hepatitis C virus gene in liver cells.

The researchers developed a method for delivering the DNAzyme into cells by preparing a complex of the enzyme and nano-sized graphene oxide. The nano-graphene prevents the DNAzyme from being degraded by other enzymes in the infected cells, allowing it to reach the target disease gene.

The team tagged the complex with a fluorescent dye and observed its activity in live liver cells. They found that the complex was able to enter the cells and indicate the presence of hepatitis C virus NS3 RNA in infected cells with a fluorescence signal. They also showed the complex could knock down NS3 gene expression, potentially inhibiting replication of the virus.

Original publication:
D-H Min et al, Chem. Commun., 2013