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Using Engineered Single-Chain Antibodies to Correlate Molecular Binding Properties and Nanoparticle Adhesion Dynamics

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journal contribution
posted on 15.11.2011, 00:00 by Jered B. Haun, Lauren R. Pepper, Eric T. Boder, Daniel A. Hammer
Elucidation of the relationship between targeting molecule binding properties and the adhesive behavior of therapeutic or diagnostic nanocarriers would aid in the design of optimized vectors and lead to improved efficacy. We measured the adhesion of 200-nm-diameter particles under fluid flow that was mediated by a diverse array of molecular interactions, including recombinant single-chain antibodies (scFvs), full antibodies, and the avidin/biotin interaction. Within the panel of scFvs, we used a family of mutants that display a spectrum of binding kinetics, allowing us to compare nanoparticle adhesion to bond chemistry. In addition, we explored the effect of molecular size by inserting a protein linker into the scFv fusion construct and by employing scFvs that are specific for targets with vastly different sizes. Using computational models, we extracted multivalent kinetic rate constants for particle attachment and detachment from the adhesion data and correlated the results to molecular binding properties. Our results indicate that the factors that increase encounter probability, such as adhesion molecule valency and size, directly enhance the rate of nanoparticle attachment. Bond kinetics had no influence on scFv-mediated nanoparticle attachment within the kinetic range tested, however, but did appear to affect antibody/antigen and avidin/biotin mediated adhesion. We attribute this finding to a combination of multivalent binding and differences in bond mechanical strength between recombinant scFvs and the other adhesion molecules. Nanoparticle detachment probability correlated directly with adhesion molecule valency and size, as well as the logarithm of the affinity for all molecules tested. On the basis of this work, scFvs can serve as viable targeting receptors for nanoparticles, but improvements to their bond mechanical strength would likely be required to fully exploit their tunable kinetic properties and maximize the adhesion efficiency of nanoparticles that bear them.