John Garner

Fluorescent-PLGA and PLGA-PEG-Mal from PolySciTech used in study on Fab-targeting of nanoparticles

Blog Post created by John Garner on Mar 19, 2018

Kennedy, 2018 surfactant Fab-conjugated nanoparticles.jpg

Targeted nanoparticles have come to the forefront recently for their application towards cancer by allowing the particles to bind to specific sites on tumors. There are many factors, however, which can interfere with this process and not all of them are well understood yet. Recently, researchers at Universidade do Porto (Portugal) and Uppsala University (Sweden) utilized fluorescently-tagged PLGA (PLGA-FKR648, AV015) and PLGA-PEG-Mal (AI110) from PolySciTech ( to create Fab-decorated nanoparticles bearing a fluorescent tracer. These particles were used, along with a series of surfactants, to determine the impact these surfactants had on the targeting capabilities of these nanoparticles. This research holds promise to help in generation of more effective targeted nanoparticle systems by optimizing the surfactant utilized. Read more: Kennedy, Patrick J., Ines Perreira, Daniel Ferreira, Marika Nestor, Carla Oliveira, Pedro L. Granja, and Bruno Sarmento. "Impact of Surfactants on the Target Recognition of Fab-Conjugated PLGA Nanoparticles." European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics (2018).

“Abstract: Targeted drug delivery with nanoparticles (NPs) requires proper surface ligand presentation and availability. Surfactants are often used as stabilizers in the production of targeted NPs. Here, we evaluated the impact of surfactants on ligand functionalization and downstream molecular recognition. Our model system consisted of fluorescent poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) NPs that were nanoprecipitated in one of a small panel of commonly-used surfactants followed by equivalent washes and conjugation of an engineered Fab antibody fragment. Size, polydispersity index and zeta potential were determined by dynamic light scattering and laser Doppler anemometry, and Fab presence on the NPs was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Most importantly, Fab-decorated NP binding to the cell surface receptor was monitored by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. 2% polyvinyl alcohol, 1% sodium cholate, 0.5% Pluronic F127 (F127) and 2% Tween-80 were initially tested. Of the four surfactants tested, PLGA NPs in 0.5% F127 and 2% Tween-80 had the highest cell binding. These two surfactants were then retested in two different concentrations, 0.5% and 2%. The Fab-decorated PLGA NPs in 2% F127 had the highest cell binding. This study highlights the impact of common surfactants and their concentrations on the downstream targeting of ligand-decorated NPs. Similar principles should be applied in the development of future targeted nanosystems where surfactants are employed. Keywords: Targeted nanoparticles; PLGA nanoparticles; surfactant; Fab antibody fragment”

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