Currently, chemotherapy is still the main clinical treatment strategy for cancer. Although it has produced significant effects, chemotherapy also has a destructive effect on normal tissues and cells, bringing many side effects to patients. Therefore, it is necessary to study high-precision, safe and controllable treatment strategies. With the development of research, nanocarriers constructed by nucleic acids (NCNAs) with addressable and sequence specificity have caught the attention of researchers.

In this paper, NCNAs are divided into three types: 1) DNA nanocarriers; 2) RNA nanocarriers; 3) DNA/RNA composite nanocarriers. The application of NCNAs in biosensing is introduced in detail. The addition of NCNAs can improve nanomaterials’ ability of target recognition by allowing them to effectively identify and analyze the target material as well as accurately control and trigger the reaction process, which has the potential for further exploration and application.

In addition, the use of NCNAs in cargo loading and transport (chemical drug delivery, gene delivery, vaccine delivery, photosensitizer delivery, etc.) and the application in the field of diagnosis logic gates are introduced systematically and in-depth analysis. Meanwhile, the application is in its infancy, and its clinical application still has a long way to go, needing an in-depth understanding of the characteristic of NCNAs for the exploration of higher precision, fully controllable nanocarriers.

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