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J Control Release. 2011 Nov 30;156(1):109-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2011.06.025. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

Enhancement of surface ligand display on PLGA nanoparticles with amphiphilic ligand conjugates.

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Yale University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, 55 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.


Biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles are widely recognized as efficacious drug delivery vehicles, yet the rational engineering of nanoparticle surfaces in order to improve biodistribution, reduce clearance, and/or improve targeting remains a significant challenge. We have previously demonstrated that an amphiphilic conjugate of avidin and palmitic acid can be used to modify poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) particle surfaces to display functional avidin groups, allowing for the facile attachment of biotinylated ligands for targeting or steric stabilization. Here, we hypothesized that the incorporation, density, and stability of surface-presented avidin could be modulated through varying the lipophilicity of its fatty acid conjugate partner. We tested this hypothesis by generating a set of novel conjugates incorporating avidin and common fatty acids. We found that conjugation to linoleic acid resulted in a ~60% increase in the incorporation of avidin on the nanoparticle surface compared to avidin-palmitic acid, which exhibited the highest avidin incorporation in previous studies. Further, the linoleic acid-avidin conjugate yielded nanoparticles with enhanced ability to bind biotinylated ligands compared to the previous method; nanoparticles modified with avidin-linoleic acid bound ~170% more biotin-HRP than those made with avidin-palmitic acid and ~1300% more than particles made without conjugated avidin. Most critically, increased ligand density on anti-CD4-targeted nanoparticles formulated with the linoleic acid-avidin conjugate resulted in a 5% increase in binding of CD4(+) T cells. Thus we conclude that the novel avidin-linoleic acid conjugate facilitates enhanced ligand density on PLGA nanoparticles, resulting in functional enhancement of cellular targeting.

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