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Inflammation Responsive Logic Gate Nanoparticles for the Delivery of Proteins

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journal contribution
posted on 20.07.2011, 00:00 by Enas A. Mahmoud, Jagadis Sankaranarayanan, José M. Morachis, Gloria Kim, Adah Almutairi
Oxidative stress and reduced pH are important stimuli targets for intracellular delivery and for delivery to diseased tissue. However, there is a dearth of materials able to deliver bioactive agents selectively under these conditions. We employed our recently developed dual response strategy to build a polymeric nanoparticle that degrades upon exposure to two stimuli in tandem. Our polythioether ketal based nanoparticles undergo two chemical transformations; the first is the oxidation of the thioether groups along the polymer backbone of the nanoparticles upon exposure to reactive oxygen species (ROS). This transformation switches the polymeric backbone from hydrophobic to hydrophilic and thus allows, in mildly acidic environments, the rapid acid-catalyzed degradation of the ketal groups also along the polymer backbone. Dynamic light scattering and payload release studies showed full particle degradation only in conditions that combined both oxidative stress and acidity, and these conditions led to higher release of encapsulated protein within 24 h. Nanoparticles in neutral pH and under oxidative conditions showed small molecule release and swelling of otherwise intact nanparticles. Notably, cellular studies show absence of toxicity and efficient uptake of nanoparticles by macrophages followed by cytoplasmic release of ovalbumin. Future work will apply this system to inflammatory diseases.