[Webinar] Precision Medicine and Rational Vaccinology Through Spherical Nucleic Acids
Dec 02, 2021 -
Dec 02, 2021
Spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) are typically composed of nanoparticle cores with densely functionalized and radially oriented shells composed of short (~10-30mers), synthetic nucleic acids. This novel three-dimensional architecture imparts conjugate properties that make SNAs extremely useful in biomedicine, due in part to their ability to bind complementary strands orders of magnitude more tightly than linear nucleic acids of the same sequence and their ability to enter cells in high quantities without transfection agents. SNAs are highly modular; they have been prepared with dozens of different cores, including biocompatible liposomes and proteins, and with an almost limitless variety of nucleic acid types and sequences, owing to solid-phase chemical synthesis techniques.
In the case of SNA-based vaccines, immunostimulatory oligonucleotides (adjuvants) compose the shell, with specific and even multiple types of antigens incorporated into the SNA shell or core, allowing access to a range of innate and adaptive immune responses and pathways. The discovery that the chemical structure of an SNA conjugate can transition a vaccine from mildly effective to curative has set the stage for a new field of rational vaccinology. This discovery also poses a pressing question: if a target has failed out of clinical trials previously, was it because the composition was incorrect, or was it simply delivered in the incorrect structure? Speaker Chad A. Mirkin and colleagues are answering this question in the context of devastating diseases such as cancer and COVID-19.