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Press Release

Press Release

Doctoral thesis on nanotechnology in cancer treatment

M.Sc. Jiaqi Yan’s doctoral thesis in drug development will be put forth for public defence at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Åbo Akademi University.

Jiaqi Yan.
Jiaqi Yan

The thesis is entitled Precision Therapeutics: Harnessing Receptor-targeted and Dynamic DNA Nanotechnology.

The public defence of the doctoral thesis takes place on 15 March 2024 at 1.15 PM in lecture hall XXI, Agora, Vesilinnantie 3, Turku. You can also follow the defence online. Professor Mauri Kostiainen, Aalto University, Finland will serve as opponent and Professor Hongbo Zhang, Åbo Akademi University as custos.


This thesis discusses a new medical treatment method that focuses on delivering drugs more precisely to cancer cells in the body. In traditional treatments, drugs can affect healthy cells and cause unnecessary side effects. To solve this problem, researchers use an advanced technology called nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology enables the creation of extremely small particles that can carry drugs directly to the cancer cells without harming the surrounding healthy cells. This makes the treatment more precise and safe.

In this work, researchers designed special nanomaterials that can identify and respond to cancer cell-related small RNA molecules (a type of genetic material found in cancer cells). This way, the nanoparticles can more accurately find and attack the cancer cells.

Moreover, researchers attempted to combine these nanoparticles with another technique that uses the properties of DNA to enhance the treatment effect. The researchers created DNA structures that can self-assemble inside cancer cells, meaning they can assemble into effective treatment tools upon reaching their target.

In summary, this research shows how the latest advances in nanotechnology and molecular biology can be used to develop more precise and effective treatment methods for cancer. This not only opens up new possibilities for cancer treatment but also for the treatment of other diseases.

Jiaqi Yan was born in 1994, in Liaoning, China. He can be reached by email jiaqi.yan@abo.fi.

The doctoral thesis can be read online through the Doria publication archive.

Click here for a press photo of the doctoral student.

Instructions for following the doctoral defence remotely

To follow the defence, you need the Zoom software or the Google Chrome browser. You do not need to create a Zoom account to follow the defence. If you install the application, you participate by clicking on the meeting link, after which you should allow the link to open in the Zoom application.