One-Dimensional Supramolecular Nanoplatforms for Theranostics Based on Co-Assembly of Peptide Amphiphiles

We report a simple and facile strategy for the preparation of multifunctional nanoparticles with programmable properties using self-assembly of precisely designed block amphiphiles in an aqueous solution-state. Versatile, supramolecular nanoplatform for personalized needs, particularly–theranostics, was fabricated by coassembly of peptide amphiphiles (PAs) in aqueous solution, replacing time-consuming and inaccessible chemical synthesis. Fibrils, driven by the assembly of hydrophobic β-sheet–forming peptide block, were utilized as a nanotemplate for drug loading within their robust core. PAs were tagged with octreotide [somatostatin (SST) analogue] for tumor-targeting or were conjugated with paramagnetic metal ion (Gd3+)-chelating 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) for magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. The two PA types were coassembled to integrate each PA function into original fibrillar nanotemplates. The adoption of a bulky target-specific cyclic octreotide and β-sheet-forming peptide with enhanced hydrophobicity led to a morphological transition from conventional fibrils to helical fibrils. The resulting one-dimensional nanoaggregates allowed the successful intracellular delivery of doxorubicin (DOX) to MCF-7 cancer cells overexpressing SST receptor (SSTR) and MR imaging by enabling high longitudinal (T1) relaxivity of water protons. Correlation between the structural nature of fibrils formed by PA coassembly and contrast efficacy was elucidated. The coassembly of PAs with desirable functions may thus be a useful strategy for the generation of tailor-made biocompatible nanomaterials.