Modularity of RBC hitchhiking with polymeric nanoparticles: testing the limits of non-covalent adsorption

Vincent Lenders, Remei Escudero, Xanthippi Koutsoumpou, Laura Armengol Álvarez, Jef Rozenski, Stefaan J. Soenen, Zongmin Zhao, Samir Mitragotri, Pieter Baatsen, Karel Allegaert, Jaan Toelen, Bella B. Manshian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Red blood cell (RBC) hitchhiking has great potential in enhancing drug therapy, by improving targeting and reducing rapid clearance of nanoparticles (NPs). However, to improve the potential for clinical translation of RBC hitchhiking, a more thorough understanding of the RBC-NP interface is needed. Here, we evaluate the effects of NP surface parameters on the success and biocompatibility of NP adsorption to extracted RBCs from various species. Major differences in RBC characteristics between rabbit, mouse and human were proven to significantly impact NP adsorption outcomes. Additionally, the effects of NP design parameters, including NP hydrophobicity, zeta potential, surfactant concentration and drug encapsulation, on RBC hitchhiking are investigated. Our studies demonstrate the importance of electrostatic interactions in balancing NP adsorption success and biocompatibility. We further investigated the effect of varying the anti-coagulant used for blood storage. The results presented here offer new insights into the parameters that impact NP adsorption on RBCs that will assist researchers in experimental design choices for using RBC hitchhiking as drug delivery strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number333
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework for ERC (ERC StG 750973) and KU Leuven Internal Funds C2 (C24/18/101).

Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).


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