Avidin-conjugated calcium phosphate nanoparticles as a modular targeting system for the attachment of biotinylated molecules in vitro and in vivo
van der Meer, S.B. and Knuschke, T. and Frede, A. and Schulze, N. and Westendorf, A.M. and Epple, M.
Volume: 57 Pages: 414-425
Avidin was covalently conjugated to the surface of calcium phosphate nanoparticles, coated with a thin silica shell and terminated by sulfhydryl groups (diameter of the solid core about 50 nm), with a bifunctional crosslinker connecting the amino groups of avidin to the sulfhydryl group on the nanoparticle surface. This led to a versatile nanoparticle system where all kinds of biotinylated (bio-)molecules can be easily attached to the surface by the non-covalent avidin-biotin-complex formation. It also permits the attachment of different biomolecules on the same nanoparticle (heteroavidity), creating a modular system for specific applications in medicine and biology. The variability of the binding to the nanoparticle surface of the was demonstrated with various biotinylated molecules, i.e. fluorescent dyes and antibodies. The accessibility of the conjugated avidin was demonstrated by a fluorescence-quenching assay. About 2.6 binding sites for biotin were accessible on each avidin tetramer. Together with a number of about 240 avidin tetramer units per nanoparticle, this offers about 600 binding sites for biotin on each nanoparticle. The uptake of fluorescently labelled avidin-conjugated calcium phosphate nanoparticles by HeLa cells showed the co-localization of fluorescent avidin and fluorescent biotin, indicating the stability of the complex under cell culture conditions. CD11c-antibody functionalized nanoparticles specifically targeted antigen-presenting immune cells (dendritic cells; DCs) in vitro and in vivo (mice) with high efficiency. Statement of significance Calcium phosphate nanoparticles have turned out to be very useful transporters for biomolecules into cells, both in vitro and in vivo. However, their covalent surface functionalization with antibodies, fluorescent dyes, or proteins requires a separate chemical synthesis for each kind of surface molecule. We have therefore developed avidin-terminated calcium phosphate nanoparticles to which all kinds of biotinylated molecules can be easily attached, also as a mixture of two or more molecules. This non-covalent bond is stable both in cell culture and after injection into mice in vivo. Thus, we have created a highly versatile system for many applications, from the delivery of biomolecules over the targeting of cells and tissue to in vivo imaging. © 2017 Acta Materialia Inc.