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Dense and Dynamic Polyethylene Glycol Shells Cloak Nanoparticles from Uptake by Liver Endothelial Cells for Long Blood Circulation

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journal contribution
posted on 17.08.2018, 00:00 by Hao Zhou, Zhiyuan Fan, Peter Y. Li, Junjie Deng, Dimitrios C. Arhontoulis, Christopher Y. Li, Wilbur B. Bowne, Hao Cheng
Research into long-circulating nanoparticles has in the past focused on reducing their clearance by macrophages. By engineering a hierarchical polyethylene glycol (PEG) structure on nanoparticle surfaces, we revealed an alternative mechanism to enhance nanoparticle blood circulation. The conjugation of a second PEG layer at a density close to but lower than the mushroom-to-brush transition regime on conventional PEGylated nanoparticles dramatically prolongs their blood circulation via reduced nanoparticle uptake by non-Kupffer cells in the liver, especially liver sinusoidal endothelial cells. Our study also disclosed that the dynamic outer PEG layer reduces protein binding affinity to nanoparticles, although not the total number of adsorbed proteins. These effects of the outer PEG layer diminish in the higher density regime. Therefore, our results suggest that the dynamic topographical structure of nanoparticles is an important factor in governing their fate in vivo. Taken together, this study advances our understanding of nanoparticle blood circulation and provides a facile approach for generating long circulating nanoparticles.