Enzyme-Directed Assembly of Nanoparticle Probes In Vivo

N.C. Gianneschi, L.M. Randolph, M.T. Proetto, A.M. Rush, M.-P. Chien
University of California, San Diego, US

Keywords: enzymes, inflammation, targeting, MRI, fluorescence, NIR


We envisioned a targeting strategy that would lead to an active accumulation of nanoparticles by virtue of a supramolecular assembly event specific to tumor tissue, occurring in response to a specific signal. The most desirable approach to stimuli-induced targeting would be to utilize an endogenous signal, specific to the diseased tissue itself, capable of actively targeting materials introduced via intravenous (IV) injection. We present the development of nanoparticles capable of assembling in vivo in response to selective, endogenous, biomolecular signals. For this purpose, we utilize enzymes as stimuli, rather than other recognition events, because they are uniquely capable of propagating a signal via catalytic amplification. We will describe their development and utility as a multimodal imaging platform, and discuss their potential as carriers capable of targeting tissue via a new mechanism.