DNA can be used to display chemical groups with nanometre precision. This gives us exquisite control over the geometry of biological nanopatterns. These can be used to pattern proteins and understand more about how our immune system is activated. This understanding can be exploited to force our innate immune system to attack and lyse specific cells, such as cancer cells or invading pathogens.
Thom Sharp was recently awarded an ERC starting grant and is now heading a research group “Bio-nanopatterning” focused on developing the use of DNA nanotechnology to understand and exploit the human innate immune system.