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Special Issue "Nucleic Acid Nanobiology for Drug Delivery and Immunotherapy"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 February 2020

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Kirill Afonin

Department of Chemistry, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: programmable RNA and DNA nanoassemblies for controlled immunoregulation; biosensing; drug delivery

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Immunotherapy describes the treatment of disease using immune cells and immunomodulatory molecules such as certain proteins and nucleic acids. The burgeoning field of immunotherapy has seen tremendous advances in treating complex diseases such as cancers and autoimmune disorders. Recently, nucleic acids have garnered tremendous attention for these purposes due to their precise customizability and varied activities in personalized nanomedicine. Nucleic acids have the ability to act as natural immune suppressants or activators for a variety of purposes. Advancements in aptamer technology, the discovery of regulatory RNAs, and developments in nanotechnology have enabled a myriad of novel therapies based on DNA and RNA.

Immunomodulatory nucleic acids have been identified as potent pharmaceuticals, ranging from Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) agonists to checkpoint blockades. CpG DNA oligonucleotides bind specifically to TLR 9 and act as effective immune activators, generating a far greater immune response than that of random sequence DNAs of the same length. Similarly designed DNA agonists have been shown to bind irreversibly to the same receptors to reduce undesirable immune responses.

By harnessing the programmable architecture of nucleic acids, dynamic structures can be designed which are capable of carrying out precisely controlled functions and immunomodulation for uses in nanomedicine. The coverage of this special issue will include (but not limited) by following topics:

  • Immunorecognition of nucleic acids in animal models and humans
  • Desirable immunomodulation using nucleic-acid based nanoparticles
  • Undesirable immunological side-effects of nucleic acid therapeutics
  • Rational design and characterization of programmable nucleic-acid based nanoparticles
  • Delivery of nucleic-acid based nanoparticles and effect of carrier on their immunorecognition
  • Therapeutic nucleic-acid based nanoparticles: design, assembly, characterization

Dr. Kirill Afonin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Nuclec acid nanoparticles
  • NANPs
  • Immunorecognition
  • Toll-like receptors
  • Drug delivery
  • Therapeutic Nucleic acids
  • Immune system

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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