Nucleic acid amphiphiles: synthesis, properties and applications

Amu Gubu, Xueli Zhang, Aiping Lu, Baoting Zhang, Yuan Ma*, Ge Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Nucleic acid amphiphiles, referring to nucleic acids modified with large hydrophobic groups, have been widely used in programmable bioengineering. Since nucleic acids are intrinsically hydrophilic, the hydrophobic groups endow nucleic acid amphiphiles with unique properties, such as self-assembling, interactions with artificial or biological membranes, and transmembrane transport. Importantly, the hybridization or target binding capability of oligonucleotide itself supplies nucleic acid amphiphiles with excellent programmability. As a result, this type of molecule has attracted considerable attention in academic studies and has enormous potential for further applications. For a comprehensive understanding of nucleic acid amphiphiles, we review the reported research on nucleic acid amphiphiles from their molecular design to final applications, in which we summarize the synthetic strategies for nucleic acid amphiphiles and draw much attention to their unique properties in different contexts. Finally, a summary of the applications of nucleic acid amphiphiles in drug development, bioengineering, and bioanalysis are critically discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-163
Number of pages20
JournalMolecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids
Early online date3 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Molecular Medicine

User-Defined Keywords

  • MT: Oligonucleotides: Therapies and Applications
  • nucleic acid amphiphile
  • oligonucleotide
  • aptamer
  • self-assembly
  • liposome
  • cell membrane


Dive into the research topics of 'Nucleic acid amphiphiles: synthesis, properties and applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this