Infoscience

Journal article

Efficient Orthogonal Bioconjugation of Dendrimers for Synthesis of Bioactive Nanoparticles

Nanoparticles carrying biologically active functional sets (e.g., targeting moiety, payload, tracer) have potential use in a wide range of clinical applications. Though complex, such constructions should, as far as possible, have a defined molecular architecture and be monodisperse. However, the existing methods to achieve this goal are unsuitable for the incorporation of peptides and proteins, and those that provide for orthogonal introduction of two different types of functional element are incompatible with the use of commercially available materials. In this study, we have developed approaches for the production of nanoparticles based on commercially available polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers. First, we identified an optimized oxime conjugation strategy under which complex dendrimers can be fully decorated not only with model peptides, but also with recombinant proteins (insulin was taken as an example). Second, we developed a strategy based on a two-chain covalent heterodendrimer (a "diblock") based on cystamine core PAMAM dendrimers and used it to generate heterodendrimers, into which a peptide array and a mannose array were orthogonally introduced. Finally, by incorporating a functionalized linker into the diblock architecture we were able to site-specifically introduce a third functional element into the nanoparticle. We exemplified this approach using fluorescein, a mannose array, and a peptide array as the three functionalities. We showed that incorporation of a mannose array into a nanoparticle strongly and specifically enhances uptake by sentinel cells of the immune system, an important property for vaccine delivery applications. These PAMAM dendrimer-based approaches represent a robust and versatile platform for the development of bioactive nanoparticles.

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