We report that simple, synthetic organic polymer nanoparticles (NPs) can capture and clear a target peptide toxin in the bloodstream of living mice. The protein-sized polymer nanoparticles, with a binding affinity and selectivity comparable to those of natural antibodies, were prepared by combining a functional monomer optimization strategy with molecular-imprinting nanoparticle synthesis. As a result of binding and removal of melittin by NPs in vivo, the mortality and peripheral toxic symptoms due to melittin were significantly diminished. In vivo imaging of the polymer nanoparticles (or "plastic antibodies") established that the NPs accelerate clearance of the peptide from blood and accumulate in the liver. Coupled with their biocompatibility and nontoxic characteristics, plastic antibodies offer the potential for neutralizing a wide range of biomacromolecules in vivo.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry