1 Introduction</h5> All mammals (and many other living organisms) have developed complex mechanisms to fight off pathogens or foreign substances entering their bodies  . Importantly, the physical introduction of the critical substance into the body marks the beginning of an immune response. Despite the fact that our immune system evolved several effective mechanisms against foreign substances, external manipulation and modulation of the immune system is required in the case of severe conditions such as viral and bacterial infections, immune deficiency-related diseases (genetic or acquired, e.g. AIDS), and cancer. Since conventional therapies including the application of cytostatic and (anti)inflammatory drugs mainly act non-specifically and systemically, they might cause serious adverse reactions. In addition, antimicrobial drugs used against infections cause the emergence of drug-resistant pathogens over time. For this reason, functionalized nanoscale carriers have been developed for the targeted delivery of drugs with the aim to reduce the quantity and the adverse reactions of therapeutics [2,3] . After the introduction of the concept of DNA-based nanostructures over three decades ago, the field of DNA nanotechnology has now reached a level where it enables advanced technology in a variety of research fields [4–6] . The use of DNA structures in
Biomaterials – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2015
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