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Publications

by Keyword: Multivalency

Woythe L, Porciani D, Harzing T, van Veen S, Burke DH, Albertazzi L, (2023). Valency and affinity control of aptamer-conjugated nanoparticles for selective cancer cell targeting Journal Of Controlled Release 355, 228-237

Nanoparticles (NPs) are commonly functionalized using targeting ligands to drive their selective uptake in cells of interest. Typical target cell types are cancer cells, which often overexpress distinct surface receptors that can be exploited for NP therapeutics. However, these targeted receptors are also moderately expressed in healthy cells, leading to unwanted off-tumor toxicities. Multivalent interactions between NP ligands and cell receptors have been investigated to increase the targeting selectivity towards cancer cells due to their non-linear response to receptor density. However, to exploit the multivalent effect, multiple variables have to be considered such as NP valency, ligand affinity, and cell receptor density. Here, we synthesize a panel of aptamer-functionalized silica-supported lipid bilayers (SSLB) to study the effect of valency, aptamer affinity, and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) density on targeting specificity and selectivity. We show that there is an evident interplay among those parameters that can be tuned to increase SSLB selectivity towards high-density EGFR cells and reduce accumulation at non-tumor tissues. Specifically, the combination of high-affinity aptamers and low valency SSLBs leads to increased high-EGFR cell selectivity. These insights provide a better understanding of the multivalent interactions of NPs with cells and bring the nanomedicine field a step closer to the rational design of cancer nanotherapeutics.Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier B.V.

JTD Keywords: aptamer avidity and affinity, delivery, microscopy, multivalency, multivalent, nanoparticle targeting, silica -supported lipid bilayers, Aptamer avidity and affinity, Multivalency, Nanoparticle targeting, Silica-supported lipid bilayers, Supported lipid-bilayers, Tumor targeting


Acosta-Gutierrez, S, Buckley, J, Battaglia, G, (2023). The Role of Host Cell Glycans on Virus Infectivity: The SARS-CoV-2 Case Advanced Science 10, 2201853

Glycans are ubiquitously expressed sugars, coating the cell and protein surfaces. They are found on many proteins as either short and branched chains or long chains sticking out from special membrane proteins, known as proteoglycans. This sugar cushion, the glycocalyx, modulates specific interactions and protects the cell. Here it is shown that both the expression of proteoglycans and the glycans expressed on the surface of both the host and virus proteins have a critical role in modulating viral attachment to the cell. A mathematical model using SARS-Cov-2 as an archetypical virus to study the glycan role during infection is proposed. It is shown that this occurs via a tug-of-war of forces. On one side, the multivalent molecular recognition that viral proteins have toward specific host glycans and receptors. On the other side, the glycan steric repulsion that a virus must overcome to approach such specific receptors. By balancing both interactions, viral tropism can be predicted. In other words, the authors can map out the cells susceptible to virus infection in terms of receptors and proteoglycans compositions.© 2022 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.

JTD Keywords: binding, entry, glycocalyx, mechanisms, multiplexing, multivalency, nanoparticles, recognition, super-selectivity, viral infectivity, Functional receptor, Glycans, Glycocalyx, Multiplexing, Multivalency, Nanoparticles, Super-selectivity, Viral infectivity


Acosta-Gutierrez, S, Matias, D, Avila-Olias, M, Gouveia, VM, Scarpa, E, Forth, J, Contini, C, Duro-Castano, A, Rizzello, L, Battaglia, G, (2022). A Multiscale Study of Phosphorylcholine Driven Cellular Phenotypic Targeting Acs Central Science 8, 891-904

Phenotypic targeting requires the ability of the drug delivery system to discriminate over cell populations expressing a particular receptor combination. Such selectivity control can be achieved using multiplexed-multivalent carriers often decorated with multiple ligands. Here, we demonstrate that the promiscuity of a single ligand can be leveraged to create multiplexed-multivalent carriers achieving phenotypic targeting. We show how the cellular uptake of poly(2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl phosphorylcholine)-poly(2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl methacry-late) (PMPC-PDPA) polymersomes varies depending on the receptor expression among different cells. We investigate the PMPC-PDPA polymersome insertion at the single chain/receptor level using all-atom molecular modeling. We propose a theoretical statistical mechanics-based model for polymersome-cell association that explicitly considers the interaction of the polymersome with the cell glycocalyx shedding light on its effect on the polymersome binding. We validate our model experimentally and show that the binding energy is a nonlinear function, allowing us to tune the interaction by varying the radius and degree of polymerization. Finally, we show that PMPC-PDPA polymersomes can be used to target monocytes in vivo due to their promiscuous interaction with SRB1, CD36, and CD81.© 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.

JTD Keywords: binding, cd36, multivalency, ph, scavenger receptor, sr-bi, B type-i


Woythe, L, Madhikar, P, Feiner-Gracia, N, Storm, C, Albertazzi, L, (2022). A Single-Molecule View at Nanoparticle Targeting Selectivity: Correlating Ligand Functionality and Cell Receptor Density Acs Nano 16, 3785-3796

Antibody-functionalized nanoparticles (NPs) are commonly used to increase the targeting selectivity toward cells of interest. At a molecular level, the number of functional antibodies on the NP surface and the density of receptors on the target cell determine the targeting interaction. To rationally develop selective NPs, the single-molecule quantitation of both parameters is highly desirable. However, techniques able to count molecules with a nanometric resolution are scarce. Here, we developed a labeling approach to quantify the number of functional cetuximabs conjugated to NPs and the expression of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs) in breast cancer cells using direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM). The single-molecule resolution of dSTORM allows quantifying molecules at the nanoscale, giving a detailed insight into the distributions of individual NP ligands and cell receptors. Additionally, we predicted the fraction of accessible antibody-conjugated NPs using a geometrical model, showing that the total number exceeds the accessible number of antibodies. Finally, we correlated the NP functionality, cell receptor density, and NP uptake to identify the highest cell uptake selectivity regimes. We conclude that single-molecule functionality mapping using dSTORM provides a molecular understanding of NP targeting, aiding the rational design of selective nanomedicines.

JTD Keywords: active targeting, active targeting dstorm, antibodies, dstorm, heterogeneity, multivalency, nanomedicine, nanoparticle functionality, size, super-resolution microscopy, surface, Active targeting, Antibodies, Cell membranes, Cell receptors, Cytology, Direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, Dstorm, Heterogeneity, Ligands, Medical nanotechnology, Molecules, Nanomedicine, Nanoparticle functionality, Nanoparticle targeting, Nanoparticles, Optical reconstruction, Single molecule, Stochastic systems, Stochastics, Super-resolution microscopy, Superresolution microscopy


Woythe, L, Tito, NB, Albertazzi, L, (2021). A quantitative view on multivalent nanomedicine targeting Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 169, 1-21

© 2020 The Authors Although the concept of selective delivery has been postulated over 100 years ago, no targeted nanomedicine has been clinically approved so far. Nanoparticles modified with targeting ligands to promote the selective delivery of therapeutics towards a specific cell population have been extensively reported. However, the rational design of selective particles is still challenging. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of quantitative theoretical and experimental understanding of the interactions involved in cell targeting. In this review, we discuss new theoretical models and experimental methods that provide a quantitative view of targeting. We show the new advancements in multivalency theory enabling the rational design of super-selective nanoparticles. Furthermore, we present the innovative approaches to obtain key targeting parameters at the single-cell and single molecule level and their role in the design of targeting nanoparticles. We believe that the combination of new theoretical multivalent design and experimental methods to quantify receptors and ligands aids in the rational design and clinical translation of targeted nanomedicines.

JTD Keywords: binding-kinetics, biological identity, biomolecular corona, blood-brain-barrier, drug-delivery, gold nanoparticles, multivalency, nanotechnology, protein corona, quantitative characterization, rational design, super-selectivity, superresolution microscopy, tumor heterogeneity, Ligand-receptor interactions, Multivalency, Nanotechnology, Quantitative characterization, Rational design, Super-selectivity


Morgese, G., de Waal, B. F. M., Varela-Aramburu, S., Palmans, A. R. A., Albertazzi, L., Meijer, E. W., (2020). Anchoring supramolecular polymers to human red blood cells by combining dynamic covalent and non-covalent chemistries Angewandte Chemie - International Edition 59, (39), 17229-17233

Understanding cell/material interactions is essential to design functional cell-responsive materials. While the scientific literature abounds with formulations of biomimetic materials, only a fraction of them focused on mechanisms of the molecular interactions between cells and material. To provide new knowledge on the strategies for materials/cell recognition and binding, supramolecular benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide copolymers bearing benzoxaborole moieties are anchored on the surface of human erythrocytes via benzoxaborole/sialic-acid binding. This interaction based on both dynamic covalent and non-covalent chemistries is visualized in real time by means of total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. Exploiting this imaging method, we observe that the functional copolymers specifically interact with the cell surface. An optimal fiber affinity towards the cells as a function of benzoxaborole concentration demonstrates the crucial role of multivalency in these cell/material interactions.

JTD Keywords: Boronic acid, Cell/material interactions, Multivalency, Red blood cells, Supramolecular polymers