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1.  Examination of Cholesterol oxidase attachment to magnetic nanoparticles 
Magnetic nanoparticles (Fe3O4) were synthesized by thermal co-precipitation of ferric and ferrous chlorides. The sizes and structure of the particles were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The size of the particles was in the range between 9.7 and 56.4 nm. Cholesterol oxidase (CHO) was successfully bound to the particles via carbodiimide activation. FTIR spectroscopy was used to confirm the binding of CHO to the particles. The binding efficiency was between 98 and 100% irrespective of the amount of particles used. Kinetic studies of the free and bound CHO revealed that the stability and activity of the enzyme were significantly improved upon binding to the nanoparticles. Furthermore, the bound enzyme exhibited a better tolerance to pH, temperature and substrate concentration. The activation energy for free and bound CHO was 13.6 and 9.3 kJ/mol, respectively. This indicated that the energy barrier of CHO activity was reduced upon binding onto Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The improvements observed in activity, stability, and functionality of CHO resulted from structural and conformational changes of the bound enzyme. The study indicates that the stability and activity of CHO could be enhanced via attachment to magnetic nanoparticles and subsequently will contribute to better uses of this enzyme in various biological and clinical applications.
PMCID: PMC548673  PMID: 15661076
2.  A nanoparticle-based immobilization assay for prion-kinetics study 
Magnetic and gold coated magnetic nanoparticles were synthesized by co-precipitation of ferrous and ferric chlorides, and by the micromicelles method, respectively. Synthesized nanoparticles were functionalized to bear carboxyl and amino acid moieties and used as prion protein carriers after carbodiimide activation in the presence of N-hydroxysuccinimide. The binding of human recombinant prion protein (huPrPrec) to the surface of these nanoparticles was confirmed by FTIR and the size and structures of the particles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy. Findings indicate that the rate of prion binding increased only slightly when the concentration of prion in the reaction medium was increased. Rate constants of binding were very similar on Fe3O4@Au and Fe3O4-LAA when the concentrations of protein were 1, 2, 1.5, 2.25 and 3.57 μg/ml. For a 5 μg/ml concentration of huPrPrec the binding rate constant was higher for the Fe3O4-LAA particles. This study paves the way towards the formation of prion protein complexes onto a 3-dimensional structure that could reveal obscure physiological and pathological structure and prion protein kinetics.
PMCID: PMC1564407  PMID: 16916458
3.  Catalytically active bovine serum amine oxidase bound to fluorescent and magnetically drivable nanoparticles 
Novel superparamagnetic surface-active maghemite nanoparticles (SAMNs) characterized by a diameter of 10 ± 2 nm were modified with bovine serum amine oxidase, which used rhodamine B isothiocyanate (RITC) adduct as a fluorescent spacer-arm. A fluorescent and magnetically drivable adduct comprised of bovine serum copper-containing amine oxidase (SAMN–RITC–BSAO) that immobilized on the surface of specifically functionalized magnetic nanoparticles was developed. The multifunctional nanomaterial was characterized using transmission electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and activity measurements. The results of this study demonstrated that bare magnetic nanoparticles form stable colloidal suspensions in aqueous solutions. The maximum binding capacity of bovine serum amine oxidase was approximately 6.4 mg g−1 nanoparticles. The immobilization procedure reduced the catalytic activity of the native enzyme to 30% ± 10% and the Michaelis constant was increased by a factor of 2. We suggest that the SAMN–RITC–BSAO complex, characterized by a specific activity of 0.81 IU g−1, could be used in the presence of polyamines to create a fluorescent magnetically drivable H2O2 and aldehydes-producing system. Selective tumor cell destruction is suggested as a potential future application of this system.
PMCID: PMC3356201  PMID: 22619559
amine oxidase; hydrogen peroxide production; superparamagnetic nanoparticles; rhodamine isothiocyanate; fluorescent nanoparticles; fluorescent nanocatalyst
4.  A novel technique for in situ aggregation of Gluconobacter oxydans using bio-adhesive magnetic nanoparticles 
Biotechnology and bioengineering  2012;109(12):2970-2977.
Here, we present a novel technique to immobilize magnetic particles onto whole G. oxydans in situ via a synthetic adhesive biomimetic material inspired by the protein glues of marine mussels. Our approach involves simple coating of a cell adherent polydopamine film onto magnetic nanoparticles, followed by conjugation of the polydopamine-coated nanoparticles to G. oxydans which resulted in cell aggregation. After optimization, 21.3 mg (wet cell weight) G. oxydans per milligram of nanoparticle was aggregated and separated with a magnet. Importantly, the G. oxydan aggregates showed high specific activity and good reusability. The facile approach offers the potential advantages of low cost, easy cell separation, low diffusion resistance and high efficiency. Furthermore, the approach is a convenient platform technique for magnetization of cells in situ by direct mixing of nanoparticles with a cell suspension.
PMCID: PMC3477288  PMID: 22729662
cell aggregation; iron oxide nanoparticles; Gluconobacter oxydans; polydopamine
5.  Improvement of thermal stability of polypropylene using DOPO-immobilized silica nanoparticles 
Colloid and polymer science  2012;290(14):1371-1380.
After the surface silylation with 3-methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane, silica nanoparticles were further modified by 9,10-dihydro-9-oxa-10-phosphaphenanthrene-10-oxide (DOPO). The immobilization of DOPO on silica nanoparticles was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, UV–visible spectroscopy, magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance, and thermogravimetric analysis. By incorporating the DOPO-immobilized silica nanoparticles (5 wt%) into polypropylene matrix, the thermal oxidative stability exhibited an improvement of 62 °C for the half weight loss temperature, while that was only 26 °C increment with incorporation of virgin silica nanoparticles (5 wt%). Apparent activation energies of the polymer nanocomposites were estimated via Flynn–Wall–Ozawa method. It was found that the incorporation of DOPO-immobilized silica nanoparticles improved activation energies of the degradation reaction. Based on the results, it was speculated that DOPO-immobilized silica nanoparticles could inhibit the degradation of polypropylene and catalyze the formation of carbonaceous char on the surface. Thus, thermal stability was significantly improved.
PMCID: PMC3981559
Polypropylene; DOPO; Silica; Nanocomposites; Kinetic
6.  Silica nanoparticles functionalized via click chemistry and ATRP for enrichment of Pb(II) ion 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):485.
Silica nanoparticles have been functionalized by click chemistry and atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) simultaneously. First, the silanized silica nanoparticles were modified with bromine end group, and then the azide group was grafted onto the surface via covalent coupling. 3-Bromopropyl propiolate was synthesized, and then the synthesized materials were used to react with azide-modified silica nanoparticles via copper-mediated click chemistry and bromine surface-initiated ATRP. Transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis were performed to characterize the functionalized silica nanoparticles. We investigated the enrichment efficiency of bare silica and poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate (PEGMA)-functionalized silica nanoparticles in Pb(II) aqueous solution. The results demonstrated that PEGMA-functionalized silica nanoparticles can enrich Pb(II) more quickly than pristine silica nanoparticles within 1 h.
PMCID: PMC3499142  PMID: 22931369
Silica nanoparticles; Surface modification; Click, ATRP; Enrichment; Pb(II)
7.  Self-aggregated nanoparticles based on amphiphilic poly(lactic acid)-grafted-chitosan copolymer for ocular delivery of amphotericin B 
The purpose of this study was to develop a self-aggregated nanoparticulate vehicle using an amphiphilic poly(lactic acid)-grafted-chitosan (PLA-g-CS) copolymer and to evaluate its potential for ocular delivery of amphotericin B.
A PLA-g-CS copolymer was synthesized via a “protection-graft-deprotection” procedure and its structure was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, 1H nuclear magnetic resonance, and X-ray diffraction spectra. Amphotericin B-loaded nanoparticles based on PLA-g-CS (AmB/PLA-g-CS) were prepared by the dialysis method and characterized for particle size, zeta potential, and encapsulation efficiency. Studies of these AmB/PLA-g-CS nanoparticles, including their mucoadhesive strength, drug release properties, antifungal activity, ocular irritation, ocular pharmacokinetics, and corneal penetration were performed in vitro and in vivo.
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, 1H nuclear magnetic resonance, and X-ray diffraction spectra showed that the PLA chains were successfully grafted onto chitosan molecules and that crystallization of chitosan was suppressed. The self-aggregated PLA-g-CS nanoparticles had a core-shell structure with an average particle size of approximately 200 nm and zeta potentials higher than 30 mV. Amphotericin B was incorporated into the hydrophobic core of the nanoparticles with high encapsulation efficiency. Sustained drug release from the nanoparticles was observed in vitro. The ocular irritation study showed no sign of irritation after instillation of the PLA-g-CS nanoparticles into rabbit eyes. The minimal inhibitory concentration of the AmB/PLA-g-CS nanoparticles showed antifungal activity similar to that of free amphotericin B against Candida albicans. The in vivo ocular pharmacokinetic study suggested that the PLA-g-CS nanoparticles have the advantage of prolonging residence time at the ocular surface. The corneal penetration study showed that the PLA-g-CS nanoparticles could penetrate into the cornea.
Our results suggest that this nanoparticulate vehicle based on a PLA-g-CS copolymer might be a promising system for effective ocular delivery of amphotericin B.
PMCID: PMC3792006  PMID: 24106427
chitosan; poly(lactic acid); nanoparticles; amphotericin B
8.  Electric-Field-Directed Self-Assembly of Active Enzyme-Nanoparticle Structures 
A method is presented for the electric-field-directed self-assembly of higher-order structures composed of alternating layers of biotin nanoparticles and streptavidin-/avidin-conjugated enzymes carried out on a microelectrode array device. Enzymes included in the study were glucose oxidase (GOx), horseradish peroxidase (HRP), and alkaline phosphatase (AP); all of which could be used to form a light-emitting microscale glucose sensor. Directed assembly included fabricating multilayer structures with 200 nm or 40 nm GOx-avidin-biotin nanoparticles, with AP-streptavidin-biotin nanoparticles, and with HRP-streptavidin-biotin nanoparticles. Multilayered structures were also fabricated with alternate layering of HRP-streptavidin-biotin nanoparticles and GOx-avidin-biotin nanoparticles. Results showed that enzymatic activity was retained after the assembly process, indicating that substrates could still diffuse into the structures and that the electric-field-based fabrication process itself did not cause any significant loss of enzyme activity. These methods provide a solution to overcome the cumbersome passive layer-by-layer assembly methods to efficiently fabricate higher-order active biological and chemical hybrid structures that can be useful for creating novel biosensors and drug delivery nanostructures, as well as for diagnostic applications.
PMCID: PMC3304025  PMID: 22500078
9.  Simple and Rapid Synthesis of Magnetite/Hydroxyapatite Composites for Hyperthermia Treatments via a Mechanochemical Route 
This paper presents a simple method for the rapid synthesis of magnetite/hydroxyapatite composite particles. In this method, superparamagnetic magnetite nanoparticles are first synthesized by coprecipitation using ferrous chloride and ferric chloride. Immediately following the synthesis, carbonate-substituted (B-type) hydroxyapatite particles are mechanochemically synthesized by wet milling dicalcium phosphate dihydrate and calcium carbonate in a dispersed suspension of magnetite nanoparticles, during which the magnetite nanoparticles are incorporated into the hydroxyapatite matrix. We observed that the resultant magnetite/hydroxyapatite composites possessed a homogeneous dispersion of magnetite nanoparticles, characterized by an absence of large aggregates. When this material was subjected to an alternating magnetic field, the heat generated increased with increasing magnetite concentration. For a magnetite concentration of 30 mass%, a temperature increase greater than 20 K was achieved in less than 50 s. These results suggest that our composites exhibit good hyperthermia properties and are promising candidates for hyperthermia treatments.
PMCID: PMC3676787  PMID: 23629669
magnetite; carbonate hydroxyapatite; mechanochemical effect; hyperthermia
10.  Preparation and characterization of 6-mercaptopurine-coated magnetite nanoparticles as a drug delivery system 
Iron oxide nanoparticles are of considerable interest because of their use in magnetic recording tape, ferrofluid, magnetic resonance imaging, drug delivery, and treatment of cancer. The specific morphology of nanoparticles confers an ability to load, carry, and release different types of drugs.
Methods and results
We synthesized superparamagnetic nanoparticles containing pure iron oxide with a cubic inverse spinal structure. Fourier transform infrared spectra confirmed that these Fe3O4 nanoparticles could be successfully coated with active drug, and thermogravimetric and differential thermogravimetric analyses showed that the thermal stability of iron oxide nanoparticles coated with chitosan and 6-mercaptopurine (FCMP) was markedly enhanced. The synthesized Fe3O4 nanoparticles and the FCMP nanocomposite were generally spherical, with an average diameter of 9 nm and 19 nm, respectively. The release of 6-mercaptopurine from the FCMP nanocomposite was found to be sustained and governed by pseudo-second order kinetics. In order to improve drug loading and release behavior, we prepared a novel nanocomposite (FCMP-D), ie, Fe3O4 nanoparticles containing the same amounts of chitosan and 6-mercaptopurine but using a different solvent for the drug. The results for FCMP-D did not demonstrate “burst release” and the maximum percentage release of 6-mercaptopurine from the FCMP-D nanocomposite reached about 97.7% and 55.4% within approximately 2,500 and 6,300 minutes when exposed to pH 4.8 and pH 7.4 solutions, respectively. By MTT assay, the FCMP nanocomposite was shown not to be toxic to a normal mouse fibroblast cell line.
Iron oxide coated with chitosan containing 6-mercaptopurine prepared using a coprecipitation method has the potential to be used as a controlled-release formulation. These nanoparticles may serve as an alternative drug delivery system for the treatment of cancer, with the added advantage of sparing healthy surrounding cells and tissue.
PMCID: PMC3791920  PMID: 24106420
superparamagnetic nanoparticles; 6-mercaptopurine; controlled release; cytotoxicity; drug delivery
11.  Bifunctional Gold Nanoshells with a Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide-Silica Core Suitable for Both MR Imaging and Photothermal Therapy 
We describe the synthesis, characterization, and use of hybrid nanoparticles with a superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) core and a gold nanoshell. These multifunctional nanoparticles, designated SPIO-Au nanoshells, displayed superparamagnetic characteristics and a significant absorbance in the near-infrared (NIR) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. In addition, they exhibited high transverse relaxivity, r2, and a large r2/r1 ratio and therefore could be imaged by MRI to obtain T2-weighted images. Moreover, SPIO-Au nanoshells showed efficient photo-thermal effect when exposed to NIR light. The use of SPIO-Au nanoshells, with their combination of unique magnetic and optical properties, should enhance the efficacy of nanoshell-mediated photo-thermal therapy by making it possible to direct more nanoparticles to tumors through the application of external magnetic field and by permitting real-time in vivo MRI imaging of the distribution of the nanoparticles before, during, and after photo-thermal therapy.
PMCID: PMC2822349  PMID: 20165552
Near-infrared; Nanoshells; Magnetic resonance imaging; Photo-thermal therapy
12.  Heterogeneity of phenol oxidases in Cryptococcus neoformans. 
Infection and Immunity  1992;60(9):3552-3555.
Phenol oxidase enzymes, linked to virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans, were prepared from broken cells. More enzyme activity was found in the ultracentrifugation supernatant; less was found in the membrane fraction. Phenol oxidases were located in acrylamide gel electropherograms by activity staining with L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA). Mobility differences between soluble and solubilized membrane-bound phenol oxidases were not found. Comparison of enzymes produced at 25 and 37 degrees C revealed that the enzyme had lower activity and lower mobility at 37 degrees C. The mobility of 25 degrees C phenol oxidases from strains of C. neoformans var. gattii was lower than that of those from C. neoformans var. neoformans. Half of the phenol oxidase produced at 25 degrees C was bound by concanavalin A, while that produced at 37 degrees C was not bound. However, glucose starvation of cultures at 25 degrees C overnight resulted in increased amounts of enzyme which did not bind to concanavalin A. A given strain of C. neoformans produces different species of phenol oxidase under different culture conditions.
PMCID: PMC257360  PMID: 1500162
13.  Frequency-Dependent Magnetic Susceptibility of Magnetite and Cobalt Ferrite Nanoparticles Embedded in PAA Hydrogel 
Chemically responsive hydrogels with embedded magnetic nanoparticles are of interest for biosensors that magnetically detect chemical changes. A crucial point is the irreversible linkage of nanoparticles to the hydrogel network, preventing loss of nanoparticles upon repeated swelling and shrinking of the gel. Here, acrylic acid monomers are adsorbed onto ferrite nanoparticles, which subsequently participate in polymerization during synthesis of poly(acrylic acid)-based hydrogels (PAA). To demonstrate the fixation of the nanoparticles to the polymer, our original approach is to measure low-field AC magnetic susceptibility spectra in the 0.1 Hz to 1 MHz range. In the hydrogel, the magnetization dynamics of small iron oxide nanoparticles are comparable to those of the particles dispersed in a liquid, due to fast Néel relaxation inside the particles; this renders the ferrogel useful for chemical sensing at frequencies of several kHz. However, ferrogels holding thermally blocked iron oxide or cobalt ferrite nanoparticles show significant decrease of the magnetic susceptibility resulting from a frozen magnetic structure. This confirms that the nanoparticles are unable to rotate thermally inside the hydrogel, in agreement with their irreversible fixation to the polymer network.
PMCID: PMC3676834  PMID: 23673482
ferrohydrogel; hydrogel; ferrogel; poly(acrylic acid); iron oxide; cobalt ferrite; magnetic nanoparticles; magnetic susceptibility; Brownian relaxation; Néel relaxation
14.  Trapping Iron Oxide into Hollow Gold Nanoparticles 
Synthesis of the core/shell-structured Fe3O4/Au nanoparticles by trapping Fe3O4 inside hollow Au nanoparticles is described. The produced composite nanoparticles are strongly magnetic with their surface plasmon resonance peaks in the near infrared region (wavelength from 700 to 800 nm), combining desirable magnetic and plasmonic properties into one nanoparticle. They are particularly suitable for in vivo diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The intact Au surface provides convenient anchorage sites for attachment of targeting molecules, and the particles can be activated by both near infrared lights and magnetic fields. As more and more hollow nanoparticles become available, this synthetic method would find general applications in the fabrication of core–shell multifunctional nanostructures.
PMCID: PMC3211847
Gold nanoparticles; Iron oxide nanoparticles; Core/shell nanoparticles; Hollow nanoparticles; Porous nanoparticles; Plasmonics
15.  Preclinical Studies To Understand Nanoparticle Interaction with the Immune System and Its Potential Effects on Nanoparticle Biodistribution 
Molecular pharmaceutics  2008;5(4):487-495.
Nanoparticles have unique physicochemical properties which make them promising platforms for drug delivery. However, immune cells in the bloodstream (such as monocytes, platelets, leukocytes, and dendritic cells) and in tissues (such as resident phagocytes) have a propensity to engulf and eliminate certain nanoparticles. A nanoparticle’s interaction with plasma proteins (opsonins) and blood components (via hemolysis, thrombogenicity and complement activation) may influence uptake and clearance and hence potentially affect distribution and delivery to the intended target sites. Nanoparticle uptake by the immune cells is influenced by many factors. Different nanoparticles have been shown to act on different pathways, while various characteristics/properties also affect which pathway is employed for particle internalization. Nanoparticle protein binding occurs almost instantaneously once the particle enters biological medium, and the physical properties of such a particle–protein complex are often different than those of the formulated particle. These new properties can contribute to different biological responses and change nanoparticle biodistribution. Therefore, in the situation when specific delivery to immune cells is not desired, the ideal nanoparticle platform is the one whose integrity is not disturbed in the complex biological environment, which provides extended circulation in the blood to maximize delivery to the target site, is not toxic to blood cellular components, and is “invisible” to the immune cells which can remove it from circulation. This review discusses the most recent data on nanoparticle interactions with blood components and how particle size and surface charge define their hematocompatibility. This includes properties which determine particle interaction with plasma proteins and uptake by macrophages. We will also provide an overview of in vitro methods useful in identifying interactions with components of the immune system and the potential effects of such interaction on particle distribution to tissues.
PMCID: PMC2613572  PMID: 18510338
Nanoparticles; immunology; biodistribution; preclinical characterization
16.  Synthesis, characterization, and in vitro evaluation of novel polymer-coated magnetic nanoparticles for controlled delivery of doxorubicin 
Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide-methyl methacrylic acid, PNIPAAm-MAA)-grafted magnetic nanoparticles were synthesized using silane-coated magnetic nanoparticles as a template for radical polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide and methacrylic acid. Properties of these nanoparticles, such as size, drug-loading efficiency, and drug release kinetics, were evaluated in vitro for targeted and controlled drug delivery. The resulting nanoparticles had a diameter of 100 nm and a doxorubicin-loading efficiency of 75%, significantly higher doxorubicin release at 40°C compared with 37°C, and pH 5.8 compared with pH 7.4, demonstrating their temperature and pH sensitivity, respectively. In addition, the particles were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and vibrating sample magnetometry. In vitro cytotoxicity testing showed that the PNIPAAm-MAA-coated magnetic nanoparticles had no cytotoxicity and were biocompatible, indicating their potential for biomedical application.
PMCID: PMC3781717  PMID: 24198493
magnetic nanoparticles; drug loading; doxorubicin release; biocompatibility
17.  Stimuli-Responsive Liposome Fusion Mediated by Gold Nanoparticles 
ACS nano  2010;4(4):1935-1942.
We report a new approach to control the fusion activity of liposomes by adsorbing carboxyl-modified gold nanoparticles to the outer surface of phospholipid liposomes. The bound gold nanoparticles can effectively prevent liposomes from fusing with one another at neutral pH value, while at acidic environments (e.g. pH<5), the gold particle stabilizers will detach from the liposomes, with liposome fusion activity resuming. The binding of carboxyl-modified gold nanoparticles to cationic phospholipid liposomes at neutral pH and detaching at acidic pH values are evaluated and confirmed by dynamic light scattering, electron microscopy, fluorescence and UV-vis absorption experiments. The relative fusion efficiency of gold nanoparticle-stabilized cationic liposomes with anionic liposomes is ~25% at pH=7 in contrast to ~80% at pH=4. Since liposomes have been extensively used as drug nanocarriers and the infectious lesions on human skin are typically acidic with a pH<5, these acid-responsive liposomes with tunable fusion ability hold great promise for dermal drug delivery to treat a variety of skin diseases such as acne vulgaris and staph infections.
PMCID: PMC2860676  PMID: 20235571
Phospholipid liposome; Nanoparticle; Vesicle fusion; Acid responsive; Drug delivery
18.  Facile Synthesis of Calcium Borate Nanoparticles and the Annealing Effect on Their Structure and Size 
Calcium borate nanoparticles have been synthesized by a thermal treatment method via facile co-precipitation. Differences of annealing temperature and annealing time and their effects on crystal structure, particle size, size distribution and thermal stability of nanoparticles were investigated. The formation of calcium borate compound was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Thermogravimetry (TGA). The XRD patterns revealed that the co-precipitated samples annealed at 700 °C for 3 h annealing time formed an amorphous structure and the transformation into a crystalline structure only occurred after 5 h annealing time. It was found that the samples annealed at 900 °C are mostly metaborate (CaB2O4) nanoparticles and tetraborate (CaB4O7) nanoparticles only observed at 970 °C, which was confirmed by FTIR. The TEM images indicated that with increasing the annealing time and temperature, the average particle size increases. TGA analysis confirmed the thermal stability of the annealed samples at higher temperatures.
PMCID: PMC3509589  PMID: 23203073
calcium borate; nanoparticles; co-precipitation; annealing time; annealing temperature
19.  Facile Synthesis of Radial-Like Macroporous Superparamagnetic Chitosan Spheres with In-Situ Co-Precipitation and Gelation of Ferro-Gels 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49329.
Macroporous chitosan spheres encapsulating superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles were synthesized by a facile and effective one-step fabrication process. Ferro-gels containing ferrous cations, ferric cations and chitosan were dropped into a sodium hydroxide solution through a syringe pump. In addition, a sodium hydroxide solution was employed for both gelation (chitosan) and co-precipitation (ferrous cations and ferric cations) of the ferro-gels. The results showed that the in-situ co-precipitation of ferro-ions gave rise to a radial morphology with non-spheroid macro pores (large cavities) inside the chitosan spheres. The particle size of iron oxide can be adjusted from 2.5 nm to 5.4 nm by tuning the concentration of the sodium hydroxide solution. Using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction spectra, the synthesized nanoparticles were illustrated as Fe3O4 nanoparticles. In addition, the prepared macroporous chitosan spheres presented a super-paramagnetic behaviour at room temperature with a saturation magnetization value as high as ca. 18 emu/g. The cytotoxicity was estimated using cell viability by incubating doses (0∼1000 µg/mL) of the macroporous chitosan spheres. The result showed good viability (above 80%) with alginate chitosan particles below 1000 µg/mL, indicating that macroporous chitosan spheres were potentially useful for biomedical applications in the future.
PMCID: PMC3511509  PMID: 23226207
20.  Thrombin-inhibiting perfluorocarbon nanoparticles provide a novel strategy for treatment and magnetic resonance imaging of acute thrombosis 
As a regulator of the penultimate step in the coagulation cascade, thrombin represents a principal target of direct and specific anticoagulants.
A potent thrombin inhibitor complexed with a colloidal nanoparticle was devised as a first-in-class anticoagulant with prolonged and highly localized therapeutic impact conferred by its multivalent thrombin-absorbing particle surface.
PPACK (Phe(D)-Pro-Arg-Chloromethylketone) was secured covalently to the surface of perfluorocarbon-core nanoparticle structures. PPACK and PPACK nanoparticle inhibition of thrombin were assessed in vitro via thrombin activity against a chromogenic substrate. In vivo antithrombotic activity of PPACK, heparin, non-functionalized nanoparticles, and PPACK nanoparticles was assessed through IV administration prior to acute photochemical injury of the common carotid artery. Perfluorocarbon particle retention in extracted carotid arteries from injured mice was assessed via 19F magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and imaging (MRI) at 11.7 T. APTT measurements determined the systemic effects of the PPACK nanoparticles at various times after injection.
Optical assay verified that PPACK nanoparticles exceeded PPACK’s intrinsic activity against thrombin. Application of the an in vivo acute arterial thrombosis model demonstrated that PPACK nanoparticles outperformed both heparin (p=.001) and uncomplexed PPACK (p=.0006) in inhibiting thrombosis. 19F MRS confirmed that PPACK nanoparticles specifically bound to sites of acute thrombotic injury. APTT normalized within twenty minutes of PPACK nanoparticles injection.
PPACK nanoparticles present thrombin-inhibiting surfaces at sites of acutely forming thrombi that continue to manifest local clot inhibition even as systemic effects rapidly diminish and thus represent a new platform for localized control of acute thrombosis.
PMCID: PMC3686484  PMID: 21605330
imaging; inhibitors; nanotechnology; pharmacology; thrombin; thrombosis
This research aims to develop targeted nanoparticles as drug carriers to the injured arterial wall under fluid shear stress by mimicking the natural binding ability of platelets via interactions of glycoprotein Ib-alpha (GP Ibα) of platelets with P-selectin of damaged endothelial cells (ECs) and/or with von Willebrand factor (vWF) of the subendothelium. Drug-loaded poly (D, L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles were formulated using a standard emulsion method and conjugated with glycocalicin, the external fraction of platelet GPIbα, via carbodiimide chemistry. Surface-coated and cellular uptake studies in ECs showed that conjugation of PLGA nanoparticles with GPIb significantly increased nanoparticle adhesion to P-selectin- and vWF-coated surfaces as well as nanoparticle uptake by activated ECs under fluid shear stresses. In addition, effects of nanoparticle size and shear stress on adhesion efficiency were characterized through parallel flow chamber studies. The observed decrease in bound nanoparticle density with increased particle sizes and shear stresses is also explained through a computational model. Our results demonstrate that the GPIb-conjugated PLGA nanoparticles can be used as a targeted and controlled drug delivery system under flow conditions at the site of vascular injury.
PMCID: PMC3273581  PMID: 22172292
Biodegradable Nanoparticles; Endothelial Cells; Platelets; Glycoprotein Ib; Parallel Plate Flow System
22.  Multifunctional nanocomposites of superparamagnetic (Fe3O4) and NIR-responsive rare earth-doped up-conversion fluorescent (NaYF4 : Yb,Er) nanoparticles and their applications in biolabeling and fluorescent imaging of cancer cells 
Nanoscale  2010;2(7):1141-1148.
A new kind of magnetic/luminescent multifunctional nanoparticles was synthesized by covalently linking multiple carboxyl-functionalized superparamagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles and individual amino-functionalized silica-coated fluorescent NaYF4 : Yb,Er up-conversion nanoparticles (UCNPs). The resultant nanocomposites bear active carboxylic and amino groups on the surface that were proved to be chemically active and useful for further facile bioconjugation with biomolecules. The UCNPs in the nanocomposite particles can emit visible light in response to the irradiation by near infrared (NIR) light, enabling the application of the nanocomposites in bioimaging. X-Ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, luminescence spectroscopy, and magnetometry were applied to characterize the multifunctional nanocomposites. The nanocomposites exhibited good superparamagnetic and excellent green up-conversion photoluminescent properties that can be exploited in magnetic separation and guiding as well as bioimaging. Due to the presence of active functional groups on the nanocomposite surface, the Fe3O4/NaYF4 : Yb,Er magnetic/luminescent nanocomposites were successfully conjugated with a protein called transferrin, which specifically recognizes the transferrin receptors overexpressed on HeLa cells, and can be employed for biolabeling and fluorescent imaging of HeLa cells. Because NIR light can penetrate biological samples with good depth without damaging them and can avoid autofluorescence from them, the presence of both NIR-responsive UCNPs and superparamagnetic nanoparticles in the nanocomposite particles will enable the practical application of the nanocomposites in bioimaging and separation.
PMCID: PMC3099179  PMID: 20648340
23.  Laser ablation-based one-step generation and bio-functionalization of gold nanoparticles conjugated with aptamers 
Bio-conjugated nanoparticles are important analytical tools with emerging biological and medical applications. In this context, in situ conjugation of nanoparticles with biomolecules via laser ablation in an aqueous media is a highly promising one-step method for the production of functional nanoparticles resulting in highly efficient conjugation. Increased yields are required, particularly considering the conjugation of cost-intensive biomolecules like RNA aptamers.
Using a DNA aptamer directed against streptavidin, in situ conjugation results in nanoparticles with diameters of approximately 9 nm exhibiting a high aptamer surface density (98 aptamers per nanoparticle) and a maximal conjugation efficiency of 40.3%. We have demonstrated the functionality of the aptamer-conjugated nanoparticles using three independent analytical methods, including an agglomeration-based colorimetric assay, and solid-phase assays proving high aptamer activity. To demonstrate the general applicability of the in situ conjugation of gold nanoparticles with aptamers, we have transferred the method to an RNA aptamer directed against prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). Successful detection of PSMA in human prostate cancer tissue was achieved utilizing tissue microarrays.
In comparison to the conventional generation of bio-conjugated gold nanoparticles using chemical synthesis and subsequent bio-functionalization, the laser-ablation-based in situ conjugation is a rapid, one-step production method. Due to high conjugation efficiency and productivity, in situ conjugation can be easily used for high throughput generation of gold nanoparticles conjugated with valuable biomolecules like aptamers.
PMCID: PMC2939592  PMID: 20731831
24.  Preparation and Characterization of Stimuli-Responsive Magnetic Nanoparticles 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2008;3(8):289-294.
In this work, the main attention was focused on the synthesis of stimuli-responsive magnetic nanoparticles (SR-MNPs) and the influence of glutathione concentration on its cleavage efficiency. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were first modified with activated pyridyldithio. Then, MNPs modified with activated pyridyldithio (MNPs-PDT) were conjugated with 2, 4-diamino-6-mercaptopyrimidine (DMP) to form SR-MNPs via stimuli-responsive disulfide linkage. Fourier transform infrared spectra (FTIR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to characterize MNPs-PDT. The disulfide linkage can be cleaved by reduced glutathione (GHS). The concentration of glutathione plays an important role in controlling the cleaved efficiency. The optimum concentration of GHS to release DMP is in the millimolar range. These results had provided an important insight into the design of new MNPs for biomedicine applications, such as drug delivery and bio-separation.
PMCID: PMC3244868
Site-specific delivery; Surface chemistry; Nanoparticles; Biomaterials; Conjugation; Controlled release
25.  Identification of Molecular-Mimicry-Based Ligands for Cholera Diagnostics using Magnetic Relaxation 
Bioconjugate chemistry  2011;22(2):307-314.
When covalently bound to an appropriate ligand, iron oxide nanoparticles can bind to a specific target of interest. This interaction can be detected through changes in the solution’s spin-spin relaxation times (T2) via magnetic relaxation measurements. In this report, a strategy of molecular mimicry was used in order to identify targeting ligands that bind to the cholera toxin B subunit (CTB). The cellular CTB-receptor, ganglioside GM1, contains a pentasaccharide moiety consisting in part of galactose and glucose units. We therefore predicted that CTB would recognize carbohydrate-conjugated iron oxide nanoparticles as GM1 mimics, thus producing a detectable change in the T2 relaxation times. Magnetic relaxation experiments demonstrated that CTB interacted with the galactose-conjugated nanoparticles. This interaction was confirmed via surface plasmon resonance studies using either the free or nanoparticle-conjugated galactose molecule. The galactose conjugated nanoparticles were then used as CTB sensors achieving a detection limit of 40 pM. Via magnetic relaxation studies, we found that CTB also interacted with dextran-coated nanoparticles and surface plasmon resonance studies also confirmed this interaction. Additional experiments demonstrated that the dextran-coated nanoparticle can also be used as CTB sensors and that dextran can prevent the internalization of CTB into GM1-expressing cells. Our work indicates that magnetic nanoparticle conjugates and magnetic relaxation detection can be used as a simple and fast method to identify targeting ligands via molecular mimicry. Furthermore, our results show that the dextran-coated nanoparticles represent a low-cost approach for CTB detection.
PMCID: PMC3040288  PMID: 21226491

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