Surface chemistry of photoluminescent F8BT conjugated polymer nanoparticles determines protein corona formation and internalization by phagocytic cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Conjugated polymer nanoparticles are being developed for a variety of diagnostic and theranostic applications. The conjugated polymer, F8BT, a polyfluorene derivative, was used as a model system to examine the biological behavior of conjugated polymer nanoparticle formulations stabilized with ionic (sodium dodecyl sulfate; F8BT-SDS; ∼207 nm; -31 mV) and nonionic (pegylated 12-hydroxystearate; F8BT-PEG; ∼175 nm; -5 mV) surfactants, and compared with polystyrene nanoparticles of a similar size (PS200; ∼217 nm; -40 mV). F8BT nanoparticles were as hydrophobic as PS200 (hydrophobic interaction chromatography index value: 0.96) and showed evidence of protein corona formation after incubation with serum-containing medium; however, unlike polystyrene, F8BT nanoparticles did not enrich specific proteins onto the nanoparticle surface. J774A.1 macrophage cells internalized approximately ∼20% and ∼60% of the F8BT-SDS and PS200 delivered dose (calculated by the ISDD model) in serum-supplemented and serum-free conditions, respectively, while cell association of F8BT-PEG was minimal (<5% of the delivered dose). F8BT-PEG, however, was more cytotoxic (IC50 4.5 μg cm(-2)) than F8BT-SDS or PS200. The study results highlight that F8BT surface chemistry influences the composition of the protein corona, while the properties of the conjugated polymer nanoparticle surfactant stabilizer used determine particle internalization and biocompatibility profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-742
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2015

Cite this