Block Copolymer-Encapsulated CaWO4 Nanoparticles: Synthesis, Formulation, and Characterization.
ABSTRACT: We envision that CaWO4 (CWO) nanocrystals have the potential for use in biomedical imaging and therapy because of the unique ways this material interacts with high-energy radiation. These applications, however, require development of nanoparticle (NP) formulations that are suitable for in vivo applications; primarily, the formulated nanoparticles should be sufficiently small, chemically and biologically inert, and stable against aggregation under physiological conditions. The present study demonstrates one such method of formulation, in which CWO nanoparticles are encapsulated in bioinert block copolymer (BCP) micelles. For this demonstration, we prepared three different CWO nanocrystal samples having different sizes (3, 10, and 70 nm in diameter) and shapes (elongated vs truncated rhombic). Depending on the specific synthesis method used, the as-synthesized CWO NPs contain different surfactant materials (citric acid or cetyltrimethylammonium bromide or a mixture of oleic acid and oleylamine) in the coating layers. Regardless of the type of surfactant, the original surfactant coating can be replaced with a new enclosure formed by BCP materials using a solvent-exchange method. Two types of BCPs have been tested: poly(ethylene glycol-block-n-butyl acrylate) (PEG-PnBA) and poly(ethylene glycol-block-D,L-lactic acid) (PEG-PLA). Both BCPs are able to produce fully PEGylated CWO NPs that are stable against aggregation under physiological salt conditions for very long periods of time (at least three months). The optical and radio luminescence properties of both BCP-encapsulated and surfactant-coated CWO NPs were extensively characterized. The study confirms that the BCP coating structure does not influence the luminescence properties of CWO NPs.
Project description:Block copolymers (BCPs), through their self-assembly, provide an excellent guiding platform for precise controlled localization of maghemite nanoparticles (MNPs). Diblock copolymers (di/BCP) represent the most applied matrix to host filler components due to their morphological simplicity. A series of nanocomposites based on diblock copolymer or triblock terpolymer matrices and magnetic nanoparticles were prepared to study and compare the influence of an additional block into the BCP matrix. MNPs were grafted with low molecular weight polystyrene (PS) chains in order to be segregated in a specific phase of the matrix to induce selective localization. After the mixing of the BCPs with 10% w/v PS-g-MNPs, nanocomposite thin films were formed by spin coating. Solvent vapor annealing (SVA) enabled the PS-g-MNPs selective placement within the PS domains of the BCPs, as revealed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The recorded images have proven that high amounts of functionalized MNPs can be controllably localized within the same block (PS), despite the architecture of the BCPs (AB vs. ABC). The adopted lamellar structure of the "neat" BCP thin films was maintained for MNPs loading approximately up to 10% w/v, while, for higher content, the BCP adopted lamellar morphology is partially disrupted, or even disappears for both AB and ABC architectures.
Project description:This study systematically compares the effects of amphiphilic diblock copolymer (di-BCP) on stabilizing hydrophobic drug nanoparticles formed by flash nanoprecipitation (FNP), and provides a guideline on choosing suitable di-BCPs. Four widely used di-BCPs, i.e., polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PS-b-PEG), polycaprolactone-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PCL-b-PEG), polylactide-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLA-b-PEG), and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA-b-PEG), and ?-carotene as a model drug were used. The study showed that PLGA-b-PEG was the most suitable one, whose hydrophobic block was biodegradable and noncrystallizable as well as had relatively high glass transition temperature (Tg) and a right solubility parameter (?). The molecular weight of PLGA block over the range from 5k to 15k showed an insignificant effect on controlling the particle size. Amorphous drug particles with a high drug loading of over 83 wt% can be achieved. Much remarkable evidence supported the nanoparticles with kinetically frozen and non-equilibrium packing structures of polymer chains rather than either the micelles or micellar nanoparticles with two well segregated polymer blocks. The thermodynamic effects of the drug and BCP on the particle stability, size and structures were discussed by using solubility parameters.
Project description:ORganically MOdified SILica (ORMOSIL) nanoparticles (NPs) appear promising carriers for the delivery of drugs to target tissues and cells but some concerns on possible cytotoxic effects still exist. We therefore studied the in vitro responses to ORMOSIL NPs in different types of human lung cells (i.e. CCD-34Lu normal fibroblasts, carcinoma alveolar type II A549 cells, NCI-H2347 adenocarcinoma cells) to determine the effects of polyethylene glycol (PEG) coating on NP cytotoxicity. Our results show that non-PEG NPs caused a concentration-dependent decrease of viability of all types of cells. On the contrary, PEG-coated NPs increased plasma membrane permeability and induced cell death only in carcinoma alveolar type II A549 cells, while did not produce deleterious effects on CCD-34Lu and NCI-H2347 cells. PEG-coated NPs promoted the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in A549 and CCD-34Lu cells; nevertheless, the decrease of ROS levels in the presence of superoxide dismutase and catalase did not protect A549 cells from death, suggesting that the oxidative stress was not the main determinant of cytotoxicity. Analysis of gene expression in A549 cells exposed to PEG-coated NPs showed alterations in genes involved in inflammation, signal transduction and cell death, while the transcriptional response was not significantly affected in CCD-34Lu fibroblasts. Our transmission electron microscopy analysis evidenced a unique intracellular localization of PEG NPs in the lamellar bodies of A549 cells, which could be the most relevant factor leading to cytotoxicity by reducing the production of surfactant proteins and by interfering with the pulmonary surfactant system. Overall design: Gene expression signature was defined in A549 and CCD-34Lu controls and treated cells, incubated with PEGylated ORMOSIL nanoparticles. Three replicates for each single sample were performed for both untreated and NP-treated A549 and CCD-34Lu cells at the end of each incubation time (24 h; 24+24h). The level of each transcript was represented as Log2.
Project description:In water, amphiphilic block copolymers (BCPs) can self-assemble into various micelle structures depicting curved liquid/liquid interface. Crystallization, which is incommensurate with this curved space, often leads to defect accumulation and renders the structures leaky, undermining their potential biomedical applications. Herein we report using an emulsion-solution crystallization method to control the crystallization of an amphiphilic BCP, poly (L-lactide acid)-b-poly (ethylene glycol) (PLLA-b-PEG), at curved liquid/liquid interface. The resultant BCP crystalsomes (BCCs) structurally mimic the classical polymersomes and liposomes yet mechanically are more robust thanks to the single crystal-like crystalline PLLA shell. In blood circulation and biodistribution experiments, fluorophore-loaded BCCs show a 24?h circulation half-life and a 8% particle retention in the blood even at 96?h post injection. We further demonstrate that this good performance can be attributed to controlled polymer crystallization and the unique BCC nanostructure.
Project description:A key attribute for nanoparticles (NPs) that are used in medicine is the ability to avoid rapid uptake by phagocytic cells in the liver and other tissues. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) coatings has been the gold standard in this regard for several decades. Here, we examined hyperbranched polyglycerols (HPG) as an alternate coating on NPs. In earlier work, HPG was modified with amines and subsequently conjugated to poly(lactic acid) (PLA), but that approach compromised the ability of HPG to resist non-specific adsorption of biomolecules. Instead, we synthesized a copolymer of PLA-HPG by a one-step esterification. NPs were produced from a single emulsion using PLA-HPG: fluorescent dye or the anti-tumor agent camptothecin (CPT) were encapsulated at high efficiency in the NPs. PLA-HPG NPs were quantitatively compared to PLA-PEG NPs, produced using approaches that have been extensively optimized for drug delivery in humans. Despite being similar in size, drug release profile and in vitro cytotoxicity, the PLA-HPG NPs showed significantly longer blood circulation and significantly less liver accumulation than PLA-PEG. CPT-loaded PLA-HPG NPs showed higher stability in suspension and better therapeutic effectiveness against tumors in vivo than CPT-loaded PLA-PEG NPs. Our results suggest that HPG is superior to PEG as a surface coating for NPs in drug delivery.
Project description:The exquisite selectivity and unique transport properties of membrane proteins can be harnessed for a variety of engineering and biomedical applications if suitable membranes can be produced. Amphiphilic block copolymers (BCPs), developed as stable lipid analogs, form membranes that functionally incorporate membrane proteins and are ideal for such applications. While high protein density and planar membrane morphology are most desirable, BCP-membrane protein aggregates have so far been limited to low protein densities in either vesicular or bilayer morphologies. Here, we used dialysis to reproducibly form planar and vesicular BCP membranes with a high density of reconstituted aquaporin-0 (AQP0) water channels. We show that AQP0 retains its biological activity when incorporated at high density in BCP membranes, and that the morphology of the BCP-protein aggregates can be controlled by adjusting the amount of incorporated AQP0. We also show that BCPs can be used to form two-dimensional crystals of AQP0.
Project description:Advancements in the directed self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) have prompted the development of new materials with larger effective interaction parameters (?e). This enables BCP systems with phase separation at increasingly small degrees of polymerization (N). Very often these systems reside near the order-disorder transition and fit between the weak and strong segregation limits where the behavior of BCP systems is not as thoroughly understood. Utilizing resonant soft X-ray reflectivity (RSoXR) enables both the BCP pitch (L0) and interface width (wM) to be determined simultaneously, through a direct characterization of the composition profile of BCP lamellae oriented parallel to a substrate. A series of high ?e BCPs with ?e ranging from ?0.04 to 0.25 and ?eN from 19 to 70 have been investigated. The L0/wm ratio serves as an important metric for the feasibility of a material for nanopatterning applications; the results of the RSoXR measurement are used to establish a relationship between ?e and L0/wm. The results of this analysis are correlated with experimentally established limits for the functionality of BCPs in nanopatterning applications. These results also provide guidance for the magnitude of ?e needed to achieve small interface width for samples with sub-10 nm L0.
Project description:Developing vehicles for the delivery of therapeutic molecules, like siRNA, is an area of active research. Nanoparticles composed of bovine serum albumin, stabilized via the adsorption of poly-L-lysine (PLL), have been shown to be potentially inert drug-delivery vehicles. With the primary goal of reducing nonspecific protein adsorption, the effect of using comb-type structures of poly(ethylene glycol) (1?kDa, PEG) units conjugated to PLL (4.2 and 24?kDa) on BSA-NP properties, apparent siRNA release rate, cell viability, and cell uptake were evaluated. PEGylated PLL coatings resulted in NPs with ?-potentials close to neutral. Incubation with platelet-poor plasma showed the composition of the adsorbed proteome was similar for all systems. siRNA was effectively encapsulated and released in a sustained manner from all NPs. With 4.2?kDa PLL, cellular uptake was not affected by the presence of PEG, but PEG coating inhibited uptake with 24?kDa PLL NPs. Moreover, 24?kDa PLL systems were cytotoxic and this cytotoxicity was diminished upon PEG incorporation. The overall results identified a BSA-NP coating structure that provided effective siRNA encapsulation while reducing ?-potential, protein adsorption, and cytotoxicity, necessary attributes for in vivo application of drug-delivery vehicles.
Project description:Supramolecular interactions between different hydrogen-bonding guests and poly(2-vinyl pyridine)-block-poly (styrene) can be exploited to prepare remarkably diverse self-assembled nanostructures in dispersion from a single block copolymer (BCP). The characteristics of the BCP can be efficiently controlled by tailoring the properties of a guest which preferentially binds to the P2VP block. For example, the incorporation of a hydrophobic guest creates a hydrophobic BCP complex that forms phase separated nanoparticles upon self-assembly. Conversely, the incorporation of a hydrophilic guest results in an amphiphilic BCP complex that forms spherical micelles in water. The ability to tune the self-assembly behavior and access dramatically different nanostructures from a single BCP substrate demonstrates the exceptional versatility of the self-assembly of BCPs driven by supramolecular interactions. This approach represents a new methodology that will enable the further design of complex, responsive self-assembled nanostructures.
Project description:In this paper we adopt molecular dynamics simulations to study the amphiphilic AB block copolymer (BCP) mediated nanoparticle (NP) dispersion in polymer nanocomposites (PNCs), with the A-block being compatible with the NPs and the B-block being miscible with the polymer matrix. The effects of the number and components of BCP, as well as the interaction strength between A-block and NPs on the spatial organization of NPs, are explored. We find that the increase of the fraction of the A-block brings different dispersion effect to NPs than that of B-block. We also find that the best dispersion state of the NPs occurs in the case of a moderate interaction strength between the A-block and the NPs. Meanwhile, the stress-strain behavior is probed. Our simulation results verify that adopting BCP is an effective way to adjust the dispersion of NPs in the polymer matrix, further to manipulate the mechanical properties.