John Garner

PLGA from PolySciTech used as part of macrophage-targeted protein delivery system

Blog Post created by John Garner on Nov 29, 2016

Despite the development of many protein-based, or biologic, medicines their application has been limited due to difficulty in administration. An attractive target for medicinal delivery is macrophage cells, immune cells which attack foreign materials and pathogens, as the action, or inaction, of these cells are involved in many diseases. Recently, researchers at Kangwon National University in Korea utilized PLGA from PolySciTech ( to deliver protein-based drugs to macrophages. Acid ended PLGA from PolySciTech (PolyVivo AP081) was conjugated to dopamine to form a nanoparticle which targeted towards macrophage cells.  This particle was found to be able to deliver a model protein (albumin) to these cells with high uptake. This research holds promise for treating a wide variety of diseases ranging from inflammatory disease to cancers. Read more:  Lee, Song Yi, and Hyun-Jong Cho. "Dopamine-conjugated poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles for protein delivery to macrophages." Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (2016).


“Abstract: Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-dopamine (PLGA-D)-based nanoparticles (NPs) were developed for the delivery of protein to macrophages. PLGA-D was synthesized via amide bond formation between the –NH2 group of D and the –COOH group of PLGA. Bovine serum albumin (BSA, model protein) was encapsulated in PLGA NPs and PLGA-D NPs, which had an approximately 200 nm mean diameter, < 0.2 polydispersity index, and negative zeta potential value. There was no increment in the mean diameters of BSA-loaded NPs after 24 h of incubation in biological fluid-simulated media (i.e., aqueous buffer and serum media). The primary, secondary, and tertiary structures of BSA released from the NPs were studied by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDSPAGE), circular dichroism, and fluorescence spectrophotometry; the structural stability of BSA was preserved during its encapsulation in the NPs and release from the NPs. PLGA/BSA NPs and PLGA-D/BSA NPs did not induce serious cytotoxicity in RAW 264.7 cells (mouse macrophage cell line) in an established concentration range. In RAW 264.7 cells, the intracellular accumulation of PLGA-D NPs was 2-fold higher than that of PLGA NPs. All of these findings indicated that PLGA-D NPs are a promising system for delivering proteins to macrophages. Keywords: dopamine; macrophage; nanoparticles; PLGA; protein”


Song Yi Lee, Hyun-Jong Cho 2016 Dopamine-conjugated poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles for protein delivery to macrophages PolySciTech AP081 PLGA.png