Ellipsoidal Polyaspartamide Polymersomes with Enhanced Cell-Targeting Ability

Authors

  • Mei-Hsiu Lai,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, 600 South Matthews Avenue, Urbana IL, 61801, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jae Hyun Jeong,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, 600 South Matthews Avenue, Urbana IL, 61801, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ross J. DeVolder,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, 600 South Matthews Avenue, Urbana IL, 61801, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Christopher Brockman,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, 600 South Matthews Avenue, Urbana IL, 61801, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Charles Schroeder,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, 600 South Matthews Avenue, Urbana IL, 61801, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hyunjoon Kong

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, 600 South Matthews Avenue, Urbana IL, 61801, USA
    • Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, 600 South Matthews Avenue, Urbana IL, 61801, USA.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Nanosized polymersomes functionalized with peptides or proteins are being increasingly studied for targeted delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic molecules. Earlier computational studies have suggested that ellipsoidal nanoparticles, compared to spherical ones, display enhanced binding efficiency with target cells, but this has not yet been experimentally validated. Here, it is hypothesized that hydrophilic polymer chains coupled to vesicle-forming polymers would result in ellipsoidal polymersomes. In addition, ellipsoidal polymersomes modified with cell adhesion peptides bind with target cells more actively than spherical ones. This hypothesis is examined by substituting polyaspartamide with octadecyl chains and varying numbers of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chains. Increasing the degree of substitution of PEG drives the polymer to self-assemble into an ellipsoidal polymersome with an aspect ratio of 2.1. Further modification of these ellipsoidal polymersomes with peptides containing an Arg-Gly-Asp sequence leads to a significant increase in the rate of association and decrease in the rate of dissociation with a substrate coated with αvβ3 integrins. The results will serve to improve the efficiency of targeted delivery of a wide array of polymersomes loaded with various biomedical modalities.

Ancillary