Amphoteric natural starch-coated polymer nanoparticles with excellent protein corona-free and targeting properties.


Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for the Synthesis and Application of Organic Functional Molecules, Hubei Collaborative Innovation Centre for Advanced Organic Chemical Materials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hubei University, Wuhan, 430062, China. [Email] [Email]


The protein corona on nano drug carriers is an important well-known biological issue that often induces biological incompatibility and screens the targeting molecules on the surfaces of carriers, thus causing a loss of targeting specificity. Although polyethylene glycol (PEG) and zwitterionic polymers have been widely used as anti-fouling materials, there still remain critical challenges for their use as protein-corona agents for drug delivery and targeting. Here, we have designed novel amphoteric natural starch-stabilized core-shell colloidal nanoparticles with more efficient protein corona-free properties, under long term circulation, at different protein concentrations and in different protein charge environments, compared to typical anti-fouling materials such as PEG and zwitterionic polymers. More importantly, the starch-coated polymer nanoparticles can be further functionalized by antibodies to achieve additional excellent targeting and cell internalization capabilities for their use in photodynamic therapy. Our findings demonstrate a novel protein-free or anti-fouling natural material that is very promising for use as highly efficient nano drug carriers and marine coatings.

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