Micro and Nanoparticles with Different Morphologies for Therapeutic Applications

S. Mitragotri
University of California, Santa Barbara, US

Keywords: Polymeric colloids

Summary:

Polymeric colloids have found application in varied fields including drug delivery. Recent studies have shown that particle morphology plays a significant role in determining the biological and therapeutic outcome of nanoparticles. We have devised methods to generate particles of several distinct morphologies and studied their impact on biological interactions. Based on this understanding, we have designed novel particles that open new therapeutic applications. In addition to shape, we demonstrate that controlling mechanical properties of carriers also offers unique opportunities. Specifically, we have synthesized flexible particles made from proteins that mimic the physical and functional properties of body’s own circulating cells such as red blood cells. Particles that mimic the size, shape and flexibility of natural circulating cells offer advantages that are typically lacking in conventional spherical polymeric particles. The motivation to use physical properties of nanoparticles to control biological function is provided by the biology itself. In nature, numerous examples can be found where physical aspects, such as shape, mechanical properties and compartmentalization are crucial to biological function. Physical attributes such as size, shape and mechanical properties form essential building blocks of biology. This realization forms the basis of the a paradigm in design of nanoparticles.