The immune response triggered by the nanoparticles limits their activity and effectiveness when injected into the body. This reaction is mainly caused by the adsorption of proteins in the nanoparticles (NPs) which depends on the physicochemical characteristics of the NPs surface and varies between different materials. To control surface fouling and the immune response, zwitterionic-rich lipid bilayer coatings will be used.
These lipid bilayers offer advantageous physicochemical properties. Firstly, they are the main molecules of the cell membranes thus they are highly biocompatible. Secondly, they have anti-fouling properties given by the hydration layer which reduces nonspecific protein adsorption. Moreover, the composition of the bilayer can be easily tuned with the addition of different lipids to modulate surface charge and even add functionalized lipids for specific targeting.
During the project, different NPs will be coated and an extended study of the immune system response will be performed with the help of the other early-stage researchers. The different studies will include amongst others whole blood assays to study T-cell and macrophage (subtype) activation. We anticipate that a successful coating will homogenize the distinct immune response to the respective NPs.
Mireia Vilar Hernandez - Early Stage Researcher
LipoCoat BV (The Netherlands)