Tuesday, 24 May 2005

This presentation is part of: Polymeric Biomaterials Posters

Long-circulating cylinder micelles demonstrate the strong effects of morphology on biological transport and interactions

Yan Geng, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Paul Dalhaimer, Yale University, Peter Photos, Princeton University, and Dennis Discher, Univ. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Morphologies of natural vehicles such as viruses and pollen grains range from quasi-spherical to filamentous, and raise fundamental questions about the effects of vehicle shape on biological transport and interactions. With two series of copolymer-based assemblies, we synthetically decouple the effects of chemical variation from morphology and elucidate the biological impact of spherical versus cylindrical shape as well as length. Compared to spherical morphologies made from similar copolymers, microns-long cylindrical micelles, or flexicelles, exploit hydrodynamic interactions and mimimize capture by cells. These cylindrical vehicles are readily loaded with hydrophobic dyes or drugs and circulate through the microvasculature for more than a week after injection compared to tens of hours for viruses and carriers such as liposomes. While the protracted circulation and length-dependent interactions of flexicelles open up a myriad of applications, the results also provide generic insight into what is ‘nano' in biological systems.

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