John Garner

PLGA from PolySciTech used in study on nanoparticle/microparticle interactions with immune cells

Blog Post created by John Garner on Jan 18, 2019

Sharma, 2019 particles macrophages PLGA polyscitech.jpg

The human immune system does a spectacular job at attacking and destroying anything which is deemed (from a biochemical standpoint) to be ‘non-self’ in nature. In the case of bacterial or viral infection, this is quite a useful and necessary feature which enables humans to survive these infections. In drug delivery applications, however, it presents a problem as particles loaded with medicines intended for delivery of the therapeutic molecule can be attacked by phagocytes (i.e. white blood cells) and destroyed. Recently, researchers at The Indian Institute of Science used PLGA (AP154) from PolySciTech ( to develop nanoparticles and track their cellular interactions. This research holds promise for better understanding of nanoparticle/microparticle circulation and clearance as it applies to drug delivery. Read more: Sharma, Preeti, Devashish Sen, Varsha Neelakantan, Vinidhra Shankar, and Siddharth Jhunjhunwala. "Disparate effects of PEG or albumin based surface modification on uptake of nano-and micro-particles." Biomaterials Science (2019).


“Abstract: Surface modification of particulate systems is a commonly employed strategy to alter their interaction with proteins and cells. Past studies on nano-particles have shown that surface functionalization with polyethylene glycol (PEG) or proteins such as albumin increases circulation times by reducing their phagocytic uptake. However, studies on surface functionalized micro-particles have reported contradictory results. Here, we investigate the effects of surface functionalization using polystyrene particles with 4 different diameters ranging from 30 nm-2.6 µm and coating them either with albumin or PEG. Our results show that with increasing particle size, surface functionalization has less to no effect on altering phagocytic uptake. The data also suggests that these differences are observed even with a dense arrangement of molecules on the surface (dense brush conformation for PEG conjugation), appear to be independent of the serum proteins adsorbing on particles surfaces and is independent of the endocytic uptake pathway. These results provide insight into the differences in the ability of surface modified nano- and micro-particles to avoid phagocytic uptake.”