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Science DOI:10.1126/science.aaw5122

Programmable CRISPR-responsive smart materials.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsEnglish, MA, Soenksen, LR, Gayet, RV, de Puig, H, Angenent-Mari, NM, Mao, AS, Nguyen, PQ, Collins, JJ
Date Published2019 08 23

Stimuli-responsive materials activated by biological signals play an increasingly important role in biotechnology applications. We exploit the programmability of CRISPR-associated nucleases to actuate hydrogels containing DNA as a structural element or as an anchor for pendant groups. After activation by guide RNA-defined inputs, Cas12a cleaves DNA in the gels, thereby converting biological information into changes in material properties. We report four applications: (i) branched poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels releasing DNA-anchored compounds, (ii) degradable polyacrylamide-DNA hydrogels encapsulating nanoparticles and live cells, (iii) conductive carbon-black-DNA hydrogels acting as degradable electrical fuses, and (iv) a polyacrylamide-DNA hydrogel operating as a fluidic valve with an electrical readout for remote signaling. These materials allow for a range of in vitro applications in tissue engineering, bioelectronics, and diagnostics.


Alternate JournalScience
PubMed ID31439791