Nanometer- and angstrom-scale characteristics that modulate complement responses to nanoparticles

The contribution of the complement system to non-specific host defence and maintenance of homeostasis is well appreciated. Many particulate systems trigger complement activation but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood.

Activation of the complement cascade could lead to particle opsonisation by the cleavage products of the third complement protein and might promote inflammatory reactions. Antibody binding in a controlled manner and/or sensing of particles by the complement pattern-recognition molecules such as C1q and mannose-binding lectin can trigger complement activation. Particle curvature and spacing arrangement/periodicity of surface functional groups/ligands are two important parameters that modulate complement responses through multivalent engagement with and conformational regulation of surface-bound antibodies and complement pattern-recognition molecules.

Thus, a better fundamental understanding of nanometer- and angstrom-scale parameters that modulate particle interaction with antibodies and complement proteins could portend new possibilities for engineering of particulate drug carriers and biomedical platforms with tuneable complement responses and is discussed here.


S. Moein Moghimi, Hajira B. Haroon, Anan Yaghmur

Dmitri Simberg, Panagiotis N. Trohopoulos




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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956544
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