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Impact of RAFT chain transfer agents on the polymeric shell density of magneto-fluorescent nanoparticles and their cellular uptake

Abstract : The impact of nanoparticle surface chemistry on cell interactions and especially cell uptake has become evident over the last few years in nanomedicine. Since PEG polymers have proved to be ideal tools for attaining stealthiness and favor escape from the in vivo mononuclear phagocytotic system, the accurate control of their geometry is of primary importance and can be achieved through reversible addition-fragmentation transfer (RAFT) polymerization. In this study, we demonstrate that the residual groups of the chain transfer agents (CTAs) introduced in the main chain exert a significant impact on the cellular internalization of functionalized nanoparticles. High-resolution magic angle spinning 1 H NMR spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy permitted by the magneto-fluorescence properties of nanoassemblies (NAs) revealed the compaction of the PEG comb-like shell incorporating CTAs with a long alkyl chain, without changing the overall surface potential. As a consequence of the capability of alkyl units to self-assemble at the NA surface while hardly contributing more than 0.5% to the total polyelectrolyte weight, denser PEGylated NAs showed notably less internalization in all cells of the tumor microenvironment (tumor cells, macrophages and healthy cells). Interestingly, such differentiated uptake is also observed between pro-inflammatory M1-like and immunosuppressive M2-like macrophages, with the latter more efficiently phagocytizing NAs coated with a less compact PEGylated shell. In contrast, the NA diffusion inside multicellular spheroids, used to mimic solid tumors, appeared to be independent of the NA coating. These results provide a novel effort-saving approach where the sole variation of the chemical nature of CTAs in RAFT PEGylated polymers strikingly modulate the cell uptake of nanoparticles upon the organization of their surface coating and open the pathway toward selectively addressing macrophage populations for cancer immunotherapy.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-03642394
Contributor : Christophe Blanquart Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, April 15, 2022 - 9:11:27 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 27, 2022 - 4:27:07 AM

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Thibaut Blondy, Julien Poly, Camille Linot, Joanna Boucard, Emilie Allard-Vannier, et al.. Impact of RAFT chain transfer agents on the polymeric shell density of magneto-fluorescent nanoparticles and their cellular uptake. Nanoscale, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022, 14 (15), pp.5884 - 5898. ⟨10.1039/d1nr06769a⟩. ⟨inserm-03642394⟩

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