Stabilizing proteins at high concentration is of broad interest in drug delivery, for treatment of cancer and many other diseases. Herein, we create highly concentrated antibody dispersions (up to 260 mg/mL) comprising dense equilibrium nanoclusters of protein (monoclonal antibody 1B7, polyclonal sheep immunoglobulin G, and bovine serum albumin) molecules which, upon dilution in vitro or administration in vivo, remain conformationally stable and biologically active. The extremely concentrated environment within the nanoclusters (similar to 700 mg/mL) provides conformational stability to the protein through a novel self-crowding mechanism, as shown by computer simulation, while the primarily repulsive nanocluster interactions result in colloidally stable, transparent dispersions. The nanoclusters are formed by adding trehalose as a cosolute which strengthens the short-ranged attraction between protein molecules. The protein cluster diameter was reversibly tuned from 50 to 300 nm by balancing short-ranged attraction against long-ranged electrostatic repulsion of weakly charged protein at a pH near the isoelectric point. This behavior is described semiquantitatively with a free energy model which includes the fractal dimension of the clusters. Upon dilution of the dispersion in vitro, the clusters rapidly dissociated into fully active protein monomers as shown with biophysical analysis (SEC, DI.S, CD, and SDS-PAGE) and sensitive biological assays. Since the concept of forming nanoclusters by tuning colloid interactions is shown to be general, It is likely applicable to a variety of biological therapeutics, mitigating the need to engineer protein stability through amino acid modification. In vivo subcutaneous Injection into mice results in indistinguishable pharmacokinetics versus a standard antibody solution. Stable protein dispersions with low viscosities may potentially enable patient self-administration by subcutaneous injection of antibody. therapeutics being discovered and developed.
The photothermal stability of plasmonic nanoparticles is critically important to perform reliable photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy. Recently, biodegradable nanoclusters composed of sub-5 nm primary gold particles and a biodegradable polymer have been reported as clinically-translatable contrast agents for photoacoustic imaging. After cellular internalization, the nanoclusters degrade into 5 nm primary particles for efficient excretion from the body. In this paper, three different sizes of biodegradable nanoclusters were synthesized and the optical properties and photothermal stability of the nanoclusters were investigated and compared to that of gold nanorods. The results of our study indicate that 40 nm and 80 nm biodegradable nanoclusters demonstrate higher photothermal stability compared to gold nanorods. Furthermore, 40 nm nanoclusters produce higher photoacoustic signal than gold nanorods at a given concentration of gold. Therefore, the biodegradable plasmonic nanoclusters can be effectively used for photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy. (C) 2012 Optical Society of America
Nanocomposites composed of MnO2 and graphitic disordered mesoporous carbon (MnO2/C) were synthesized for high total specific capacitance and redox pseudocapacitance (C-MnO2) at high scan rates up to 200 mV s(-1). High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) demonstrated that MnO2 nanodomains were highly dispersed throughout the mesoporous carbon structure. According to HRTEM and X-ray diffraction (XRD), the MnO2 domains are shown to be primarily amorphous and less than 5 nm in size. For these composites in aqueous 1 M Na2SO4 electrolyte, C-MnO2 reached 500 F/g(MnO2) at 2 mV s(-1) for 8.8 wt% MnO2. A capacitance fade of only 20% over a 100-fold change in scan rate was observed for a high loading of 35 wt% MnO2 with a C-MnO2 of 310 F/g(MnO2) at the highest scan rate of 200 mV s(-1). The high electronic conductivity of the graphitic 3D disordered mesoporous carbon support in conjunction with the thin MnO2 nanodomains facilitate rapid electron and ion transport offering the potential of improved high power density energy storage pseudocapacitors.
Iron oxide nanoparticles, in the form of sub-100-nm clusters, were synthesized in the presence of poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) or poly(styrene sulfonate-alt-maleic acid) (PSS-alt-MA) to provide electrosteric stabilization. The superparamagnetic nanoclusters were characterized using a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and zeta potential measurements. To anchor the polymer shell on the nanoparticle surface, the polymer was cross-linked for a range of cross-linking densities. For nanoclusters with only 12% (w/w) PSS-alt-MA, electrosteric stabilization was sufficient even in 8 wt % NaCl. For PAA, the cross-linked polymer shell was essentially permanent and did not desorb even upon dilution of the nanoparticles for iron oxide concentrations down to 0.014 wt %. Without cross-linking, over half of the polymer desorbed from the particle surfaces. This general approach of the adsorption of polymer stabilizers onto nanoparticles followed by cross-linking may be utilized for a wide variety of cross-linkable polymers without the need to form covalent bonds between the nanoparticles and polymer stabilizer. Thus, this cross-linking approach is an efficient and inexpensive method of stabilizing nanoparticles for large-scale applications, including the electromagnetic imaging of subsurface reservoirs, even at high salinity.
As applications of nanoparticles in medical imaging and biomedicine rapidly expand, the interactions of nanoparticles with living cells have become an area of active interest. For example, intracellular accumulation of nanoparticles-an important part of cell-nanoparticle interaction-has been well studied using plasmonic nanoparticles and optical or optics-based techniques due to the change in optical properties of the nanoparticle aggregates. However, magnetic nanoparticles, despite their wide range of clinical applications, do not exhibit plasmonic-resonant properties and therefore their intracellular aggregation cannot be detected by optics-based imaging techniques. In this study, we investigated the feasibility of a novel imaging technique-pulsed magneto-motive ultrasound (pMMUS)-to identify intracellular accumulation of endocytosed magnetic nanoparticles. In pMMUS imaging a focused, high intensity, pulsed magnetic field is used to excite the cells labeled with magnetic nanoparticles, and ultrasound imaging is then used to monitor the mechanical response of the tissue. We demonstrated previously that clusters of magnetic nanoparticles amplify the pMMUS signal in comparison to the signal from individual nanoparticles. Here we further demonstrate that pMMUS imaging can identify interaction between magnetic nanoparticles and living cells, i.e. intracellular accumulation of nanoparticles within the cells. The results of our study suggest that pMMUS imaging can not only detect the presence of magnetic nanoparticles but also provides information about their intracellular accumulation non-invasively and in real-time.
Melanoma accounts for 75% of all skin cancer deaths. Pulsed photothermal radiometry (PPTR), optical coherence tomography (OCT) and ultrasound (US) are non-invasive imaging techniques that may be used to measure melanoma thickness, thus, determining surgical margins. We constructed a series of PDMS tissue phantoms simulating melanomas of different thicknesses. PPTR, OCT and US measurements were recorded from PDMS tissue phantoms and results were compared in terms of axial imaging range, axial resolution and imaging time. A Monte Carlo simulation and three-dimensional heat transfer model was constructed to simulate PPTR measurement. Experimental results show that PPTR and US can provide a wide axial imaging range (75 mu m-1.7 mm and 120-910 mu m respectively) but poor axial resolution (75 and 120 mu m respectively) in PDMS tissue phantoms, while OCT has the most superficial axial imaging range (14-450 mu m) but highest axial resolution (14 mu m). The Monte Carlo simulation and three-dimensional heat transfer model give good agreement with PPTR measurement. PPTR and US are suited to measure thicker melanoma lesions (> 400 mu m), while OCT is better to measure thin melanoma lesions (< 400 mu m).
The ability of smaller than 100 nm antibody (Ab) nanoparticle conjugates to target and modulate the biology of specific cell types may enable major advancements in cellular imaging and therapy in cancer. A key challenge is to load a high degree of targeting, imaging, and therapeutic functionality into small, yet stable particles. A versatile method called thin autocatalytic growth on substrate (TAGs) has been developed in our previous study to form ultrathin and asymmetric gold coatings on iron oxide nanocluster cores producing exceptional near-infrared (NIR) absorbance. AlexaFluor 488 labeled Abs were used to correlate the number of Abs conjugated to iron oxide/gold nanoclusters (nanoroses) with the hydrodynamic size. A transition from submonolayer to multilayer aggregates of Abs on the nanorose surface was observed for 54 Abs and an overall particle diameter of similar to 60-65 nm. The hydrodynamic diameter indicated coverage of a monolayer of 54 Abs, in agreement with the prediction of a geometric model, by assuming a circular footprint of 16.9 nm diameter per Ab molecule. The targeting efficacy of nanoclusters conjugated with monoclonal Abs specific for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was evaluated in A431 cancer cells using dark field microscopy and atomic absorbance spectrometry (AAS) analysis. Intense NIR scattering was achieved from both high uptake of nanoclusters in cells and high intrinsic NIR absorbance of individual nanoclusters. Dual mode imaging with dark field reflectance microscopy and fluorescence microscopy indicates the Abs remained attached to the Au surfaces upon the uptake by the cancer cells. The ability to load intense multifunctionality, specifically strong NIR absorbance, conjugation of an Ab monolayer in addition to a strong r2 MRI contrast that was previously demonstrated in a total particle size of only 63 nm, is an important step forward in development of theranostic agents for combined molecular specific imaging and therapy.
Recently, pulsed magneto-motive ultrasound (pMMUS) imaging augmented with ultra-small magnetic nanoparticles has been introduced as a tool capable of imaging events at molecular and cellular levels. The sensitivity of a pMMUS system depends on several parameters, including the size, geometry and magnetic properties of the nanoparticles. Under the same magnetic field, larger magnetic nanostructures experience a stronger magnetic force and produce larger displacement, thus improving the sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of pMMUS imaging. Unfortunately, large magnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles are typically ferromagnetic and thus are very difficult to stabilize against colloidal aggregation. In the current study we demonstrate improvement of pMMUS image quality by using large size superparamagnetic nanoclusters characterized by strong magnetization per particle. Water-soluble magnetic nanoclusters of two sizes (15 and 55 nm average size) were synthesized from 3 nm iron precursors in the presence of citrate capping ligand. The size distribution of synthesized nanoclusters and individual nanoparticles was characterized using dynamic light scattering (DLS) analysis and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Tissue mimicking phantoms containing single nanoparticles and two sizes of nanoclusters were imaged using a custom-built pMMUS imaging system. While the magnetic properties of citrate-coated nanoclusters are identical to those of superparamagnetic nanoparticles, the magneto-motive signal detected from nanoclusters is larger, i.e. the same magnetic field produced larger magnetically induced displacement. Therefore, our study demonstrates that clusters of superparamagnetic nanoparticles result in pMMUS images with higher contrast and SNR.
The importance of noncovalent interactions in the realm of biological materials continues to inspire efforts to create artificial supramolecular polymeric architectures. These types of self-assembled materials hold great promise as environmentally stimuli-responsive materials because they are capable of adjusting their various structural parameters, such as chain length, architecture, conformation, and dynamics, to new surrounding environments upon exposure to appropriate external stimuli. Nevertheless, in spite of considerable advances in the area of responsive materials, it has proved challenging to create synthetic self-assembled materials that respond to highly disparate analytes and whose environmentally induced changes in structure can be followed directly through both various spectroscopic and X-ray diffraction analyses. Herein, we report a new set of artificial self-assembled materials obtained by simply mixing two appropriately chosen, heterocomplementary macrocyclic receptors, namely a tetrathiafulvalene-functionalized calixpyrrole and a bis(dinitrophenyl)-meso-substituted calix pyrrole. The resulting polymeric materials, stabilized by combination of donor-acceptor and hydrogen bonding interactions, undergo dynamic, reversible dual guest-dependent structural transformations upon exposure to two very different types of external chemical inputs, namely chloride anion and trinitrobenzene. The structure and dynamics of the copolymers and their analyte-dependent responsive behavior was established via single crystal X-ray crystallography, SEM, heterocomplementary isodesmic analysis, 1- and 2D NMR, and dynamic light scattering spectroscopies. Our results demonstrate the benefit of using designed heterocomplementary interactions of two functional macrocyclic receptors to create synthetic, self-assembled materials for the development of "smart" sensory materials that mimic the key biological attributes of multianalyte recognition and substrate-dependent multisignaling.
The process of freezing protein solutions can perturb the conformation of the protein and potentially lead to aggregate formation during long-term storage in the frozen state. Radial macroscopic freeze concentration and temperature profiles for bovine serum albumin (BSA) solutions in small cylindrical stainless steel vessels were determined for various freezing rates. The measured concentrations of both BSA and immunoglobulin G2, as well as trehalose in sampled ice sections, increased by up to twofold to threefold toward the bottom and radial center for slow freezing rates produced in stagnant air freezers. The concentration and temperature profiles result in density gradients that transport solutes by convective flow. For faster external cooling by either forced convection of air or a liquid coolant, the increased freezing rate raised the ice front velocity resulting in enhanced dendritic ice growth. The ice trapped the solutes more effectively before they were removed from the ice front by diffusion and convection, resulting in more uniform solute concentration profiles. The dynamic temperature profiles from multiple radial thermocouples were consistent with the independently measured freeze concentration profiles. The ability to control the protein concentration profile in the frozen state offers the potential to improve stability of protein in long-term frozen storage. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci 100:1316-1329, 2011
Macrophages are one of the most important cell types involved in the progression of atherosclerosis which can lead to myocardial infarction. To detect macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques, plasmonic gold nanorose is introduced as a nontoxic contrast agent for fluorescence imaging. We report macrophage cell culture and ex vivo tissue studies to visualize macrophages targeted by nanorose using scanning confocal microscopy. Atherosclerotic lesions were created in the aorta of a New Zealand white rabbit model subjected to a high cholesterol diet and double balloon injury. The rabbit was injected with nanoroses coated with dextran. A HeNe laser at 633 nm was used as an excitation light source and a acousto-optical beam splitter was utilized to collect fluorescence emission in 650-760 nm spectral range. Results of scanning confocal microscopy of macrophage cell culture and ex vivo tissue showed that nanoroses produce a strong fluorescence signal. The presence of nanorose in ex vivo tissue was further confirmed by photothermal wave imaging. These results suggest that scanning confocal microscopy can identify the presence and location of nanorose-loaded macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques.
Plasmonic metal nanoparticles are used in photoacoustic imaging as contrast agents because of their resonant optical absorption properties in the visible and near-IR regions. However, the nanoparticles could accumulate and result in long-term toxicity in vivo, because they are generally not biodegradable. Recently, biodegradable plasmonic gold nanoclusters, consisting of sub-5 nm primary gold nanoparticles and biodegradable polymer stabilizer, were introduced. In this Letter, we demonstrate the feasibility of biodegradable nanoclusters as a photoacoustic contrast agent. We performed photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging of a tissue-mimicking phantom with inclusions containing nanoclusters at various concentrations. The results indicate that the biodegradable gold nanoclusters can be used as effective contrast agents in photoacoustic imaging. (C) 2010 Optical Society of America
Emulsions of water and dodecane with drop sizes down to 1 mu m were stabilized with 30-100 nm interfacially active nanoclusters of sub-15 nm iron oxide primary particles at an extremely low loading of 0.14 wt.%. The nanoclusters, coated with a bilayer of oleic acid, formed stable dispersions in water at pH 7-10. The phase behavior and droplet morphologies of the emulsions of water and dodecane were tuned with pH. The oil/water emulsions at pH 9-10 were converted to middle phase emulsions at pH 6-7 and water/oil emulsions as the pH was further lowered. The magnetization per gram of Fe is similar for the nanoclusters and the primary particles, indicating the spacing between the particles is sufficient to avoid magnetic coupling. The larger volume of nanoclusters relative to the individual primary particles is beneficial for magnetomotive sensing applications including imaging of oil reservoirs, as it increases the force on the particles for a given magnetic field. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The effect of supersaturation on bioavailability of inhaled nebulized aerosols is compared for amorphous versus crystalline nanoparticulate dispersions. The nanocrystalline formulations of itraconazole (ITZ) were made by wet milling (i.e. Wet-milled ITZ), whereas amorphous nanostructured aggregates (ITZ/mannitol/lecithin = 1:0.5:0.2, weight ratio) were made by an ultra-rapid freezing process (i.e. URF-ITZ). Dissolution tests revealed the extent of supersaturation was 4.7-times higher for URF-ITZ versus Wet-milled ITZ, though their dissolution rates were similar. The aerodynamic performances of both aqueous colloidal dispersions were comparable and suitable for deep lung delivery. Single-dose 24-h pharmaco-kinetic studies were conducted in Sprague-Dawley rats following inhalation of the nebulized colloidal dispersions (equivalent to 20 mg ITZ/mL dispersion in 5 mL) in a nose-only dosing apparatus. Lung depositions following inhalation were similar for both compositions. In systemic circulation, Wet-milled ITZ and URF-ITZ achieved C(max) of 50 and 180 ng/mL at 2.7 and 4.0 h, and AUC(0-24) of 662 and 2543 ng h/mL, respectively, based on a one-compartmental analysis. Pulmonary delivery of the nanoparticulate amorphous ITZ composition resulted in significantly higher systemic bioavailability than for the nanocrystalline ITZ composition, as a result of the higher supersaturation that increased the permeation. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.