John Garner

PEG-PLGA and PLGA-Rhodamine from PolySciTech used in research on Nanoparticle adhesion and transportation.

Blog Post created by John Garner on Jul 11, 2019

One of the key questions to answer for targeted therapy to cancer cells is the nature of the surface interaction between the particles and the cancer cells. Optimally, the particles should bind selectively to cancer cells and tumor components and be up-taken into the cancer cells. However, achieving this ideal situation has yet to be achieved. There remains a great deal more to be understood about the nature of the interaction between the particle surface and the cancer cells as well as the impact of various ligands and surfactants on this interaction. Recently, researchers at the University of Maryland utilized PLGA-Rhodamine (AV011), PEG-PLGA (AK010), and PLGA (AP041), from PolySciTech ( to develop a series of nanoparticles and test their surface interactions using a surface-plasmon resonance analytical technique. This research holds promise to improve the efficacy of nanoparticle delivery systems for cancer treatment. Read more: Wadajkar, Aniket S., Jimena G. Dancy, Christine P. Carney, Brian S. Hampton, Heather M. Ames, Jeffrey A. Winkles, Graeme F. Woodworth, and Anthony J. Kim. "Leveraging Surface Plasmon Resonance to Dissect the Interfacial Properties of Nanoparticles: Implications for Tissue Binding and Tumor Penetration." Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine 20 (2019): 102024.


“Abstract: Therapeutic efficacy of nanoparticle-drug formulations for cancer applications is significantly impacted by the extent of intra-tumoral accumulation and tumor tissue penetration. We advanced the application of surface plasmon resonance to examine interfacial properties of various clinical and emerging nanoparticles related to tumor tissue penetration. We observed that amine-terminated or positively-charged dendrimers and liposomes bound strongly to tumor extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, whereas hydroxyl/carboxyl-terminated dendrimers and PEGylated/neutrally-charged liposomes did not bind. In addition, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles formulated with cholic acid or F127 surfactants bound strongly to tumor ECM proteins, whereas nanoparticles formulated with poly(vinyl alcohol) did not bind. Unexpectedly, following blood serum incubation, this binding increased and particle transport in ex vivo tumor tissues reduced markedly. Finally, we characterized the protein corona on PLGA nanoparticles using quantitative proteomics. Through these studies, we identified valuable criteria for particle surface characteristics that are likely to mediate their tissue binding and tumor penetration. Graphical Abstract: We established the application of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to examine the interfacial properties of multiple clinical and emerging nanoparticle formulations related to tumor tissue penetration. Using this SPR assay, we closely studied the interfacial properties of these nanoparticles, specifically nanoparticle surface chemistries, formulation surfactants, and protein corona components, on binding to tumor ECM proteins. Unexpectedly, we found that all PLGA NP formulations displayed markedly increased binding behavior towards tumor ECM proteins following blood serum incubation, including densely PEG-coated PLGA-PEG NPs. Key words: Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) Protein corona Nanoparticles Non-specific binding Tumor penetration Proteomics”


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