Natalie Boehnke, Santiago Correa, Eliza Vasile, Paula T. Hammond
Layer-by-layer (LbL) nanoparticles are modular drug delivery vehicles consisting of a nano-sized core and iterative layers of polyelectrolytes with alternating charge. LbL nanoparticles enable us to encapsulate and deliver therapeutic cargo in the nanoparticle core as well as in the individual layers that make up the LbL coating. In addition to delivering multiple therapies inside the same particle, the LbL design also allows for facile screening and optimization of individual nanoparticle components, such as the identity and structure of the outer surface coating, which we can use to tailor targeting of our particles to cells of interest.
Here, we are looking at the uptake of a specific LbL nanoparticle, coated with poly-L-aspartic acid, in ovarian cancer cells. While poly-L-aspartic acid is not yet known to have specific interactions with cell surfaces, we have observed that these particles are very efficiently and selectively taken up by cancer cells (as shown in this image), demonstrating the potential of this LbL nanoparticle design for drug delivery applications.