Micro- and Nanorobots Meet DNA

Mario Urso, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


DNA, the well-known molecule that carries the genetic information of almost all forms of life, represents a pivotal element in formulating intelligent and versatile micro/nanorobotic systems. DNA-functionalized micro/nanorobots have opened new and exciting opportunities in many research areas due to the synergistic combination of self-propulsion at the micro/nanoscale and the high specificity and programmability of DNA interactions. Here, their designs and applications are critically reviewed, which span from the use of DNA as the fuel to chemotactically power nanorobots toward cancer cells to DNA as the main building block for sophisticated phototactic biorobots, DNA nanodevices to self-monitor microrobots’ activity status, DNA and RNA sensing, nucleic acids isolation, gene therapy, and water purification. The perspective on future directions of the field is also shared, envisioning DNA-mediated reconfigurable assemblies of nanorobotic swarms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.P. was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (Czech Republic) grant LL2002 under the ERC CZ program. M.U. acknowledges financial support by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska‐Curie grant agreement No. 101038066.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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