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CRISPR can now be used as a drug delivery molecule.

Drugs (or any molecules) could be delivered to the target site and released under the control of CRISPR 12a.

CRISPR Cas12a


James Collins, MIT, Cambridge used CRISPR  to deliver drug moleculesThey used water-filled polymers that are held together by strands of DNA, known as DNA hydrogels. To alter the properties of these materials, Collins's team used a form of CRISPR called Cas12a. (The gene-editor CRISPR–Cas9 uses the Cas9 enzyme to snip a DNA sequence at the desired point.) The Cas12a enzyme can be programmed to recognize a specific DNA sequence. The enzyme cuts its target DNA strand, then severs single strands of DNA nearby.

This property allowed the researchers to build a series of CRISPR-controlled hydrogels containing a target DNA sequence and single strands of DNA, which breaks up after Cas12a recognizes the target sequence in a stimulus. The break-up of the single DNA strands triggers the hydrogels to change shape or, in some cases, completely dissolve, releasing a payload.
The team created hydrogels programmed to release enzymes, drugs. the drugs are loaded inside a gel which was held in shape by DNA. This is a revolutionary discovery that will boost the science of drug delivery.

CRISPR cas12a is used to releases drugs at a target site.















References:
1. English, M. et al. Science 365, 780–785 (2019).

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