Avidin And Biotin Targeting

Although it is by far the most widely utilized polymer for surface modification of nanoparticles, PEG is not the only compound that can be included at the surface of nanoparticles. Nor is it necessary to achieve active targeting. Saltzman has recently reported a method for incorporating avidin-fatty acid conjugates into the surface of PLGA nanoparticles.79 This method resulted in avidin at the surface of the nanoparticles that remained active for weeks. The ability of these nanoparticles to target to biotin was verified by targeting of the nanoparticles to biotinylated agarose beads. Not only could this system be used for targeted delivery; it can also be utilized to selectively modify surfaces for tissue engineering.

In another such example, Hunziker has prepared biotin-functionalized (poly(2-methyl-oxazoline)-b-poly(dimethylsiloxane)-b-poly(2-methyl-oxazoline) triblock copolymers.80 The biotinylated targeting agents were added using streptavidin as a coupling agent. Uptake of these "nanocontainers" was seen in the presence of the target receptor, the macrophage scavenger receptor SRA1, but not in the absence of this target.

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