Evaluation of Multivalent, Functional Polymeric Nanoparticles for Imaging Applications.
A series of multivalent, functional polymer nanoparticles with diagnostic/imaging units and targeting ligands for molecular targeting were synthesized with the loading of the chain-end-functionalized GRGDS peptide targeting sequence (model system based on integrin v3) ranging from 0 to 50%. Accurate structural and functional group control in these systems was achieved through a modular approach involving the use of multiple functionalized macromonomer/monomer units combined with living free radical polymerization. In cellulo results show an increase in uptake in v3 integrin-positive U87MG glioblastoma cells with increasing RGD loading and a possible upper limit on the effectiveness of the number of RGD peptides for targeting v3 integrin. Significantly, this increased targeting efficiency is coupled with in vivo biodistribution results, which show decreased blood circulation and increased liver uptake with increasing RGD loading. The results demonstrate the importance of controlling ligand loading in order to achieve optimal performance for therapeutic and imaging applications for multivalent nanoparticle-based systems.