Self-assembled 3D RNA Cage Nanoparticles with Precise Shape and Size for Applications in Medical Sciences, Materials Sciences, Engineering and Nanotechnology

Self-assembling, highly stable RNA cages amenable to custom functionalization and cargo delivery

The Need

One of the primary challenges in therapeutic development is cheap, efficient, and safe drug delivery to specific target tissues. To better target specific tissues, RNA nanotechnology has been progressively applied to generate predefined architectures via self-assembly of modular building blocks. New stratagies to improve these constructs are valuable for delivery of personalized medicine and targeted therapeutics.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Peixuan Guo, have developed highly stable, self-assembling three-dimensional RNA nanostructure cages capable of custom targeting/functionalization. Their constructs are defined in size, self-assemble, and are thermodynamically stable. This technology has already been shown to specifically target orthotopic breast cancer in vivo, and is promising for a wide range of cargo delivery applications.

Commercial Applications

  • Therapeutic drug delivery, including for cancer
  • Delivery of imaging agents to target tissues


  • RNA structures are derived from ultrastable evolved components, which resist degradation at a variety of extreme conditions
  • Studies in vivo reveal no apparent accumulation in liver, lung, or any other vital organs or tissues

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