John Garner

Fluorescent PLGA-rhodamine from PolySciTech used to investigate albumin-coating for nanoparticle transport

Blog Post created by John Garner on Jul 26, 2018

Hyun, 2018 PLGA-albumin particles polyscitech.jpg

There is nothing more annoying than carefully crafting a nanoparticle system only to watch the drug-loaded therapeutic particles be gobbled up by macrophages (white blood cells) as soon as they are introduced into the blood-stream. There are many ways to protect the nanoparticles from the immune system, one of which is to provide an albumin coating that the immune system will generally recognize as ‘self’ and not attack. However, to be recognized, the albumin protein must be in the right shape and conformation and this property can be affected by ‘how’ it is coated onto the particle. Recently, researchers at Purdue University and Seoul National University utilized PLGA (PolyVivo Cat# AP031) and PLGA-rhodamine B endcap (PolyVivo Cat# AV011) from PolySciTech ( to create nanoparticles which were coated with albumin by various techniques and they tracked the motion and fate of these particles using fluorescent techniques. This research holds promise for providing for improved nanotherapy in the future. Read more: Hyun, Hyesun, Joonyoung Park, Kiela Willis, Ji Eun Park, L. Tiffany Lyle, Wooin Lee, and Yoon Yeo. "Surface modification of polymer nanoparticles with native albumin for enhancing drug delivery to solid tumors." Biomaterials (2018).


“Abstract: Albumin is a promising surface modifier of nanoparticulate drug delivery systems. Serving as a dysopsonin, albumin can protect circulating nanoparticles (NPs) from the recognition and clearance by the mononuclear phagocytic system (MPS). Albumin may also help transport the NPs to solid tumors based on the increased consumption by cancer cells and interactions with the tumor microenvironment. Several studies have explored the benefits of surface-bound albumin to enhance NP delivery to tumors. However, it remains unknown how the surface modification process affects the conformation of albumin and the performance of the albumin-modified NPs. We use three different surface modification methods including two prevalent approaches (physisorption and interfacial embedding) and a new method based on dopamine polymerization to modify the surface of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) NPs with albumin and compare the extent of albumin binding, conformation of the surface-bound albumin, and biological performances of the albumin-coated NPs. We find that the dopamine polymerization method preserves the albumin structure, forming a surface layer that facilitates NP transport and drug delivery into tumors via the interaction with albumin-binding proteins. In contrast, the interfacial embedding method creates NPs with denatured albumin that offers no particular benefit to the interaction with cancer cells but rather promotes the MPS uptake via direct and indirect interactions with scavenger receptor A. This study demonstrates that the surface-bound albumin can bring distinct effects according to the way they interact with NP surface and thus needs to be controlled in order to achieve favorable therapeutic outcomes.”


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