An innovative prototype drug uses artificial DNA to release active ingredients in a specified order.
Many patients require a series of medications to manage their condition, which can be difficult to remember. To ease this complication, the team from the Technical University of Munich created a hydrogel containing particles connected by meshes of artificial DNA that break down when exposed to certain triggers and within different timeframes. In a test with silver, iron and gold particles, the trigger was salt (absorbed after application to the skin), which caused the silver particles to break their bond with the DNA and move to the surface of the gel. That separation triggered the DNA holding the silver particles to break down, followed by the iron and then the gold—resulting in a timed release of all three particles.