Therapeutic Peptides Are Preferentially Solubilized in Specific Microenvironments within PEG-PLGA Polymer Nanoparticles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Polymeric nanoparticles are a highly promising drug delivery formulation. However, a lack of understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie their drug solubilization and controlled release capabilities has hindered the efficient clinical translation of such technologies. Polyethylene glycol-poly(lactic- co-glycolic) acid (PEG-PLGA) nanoparticles have been widely studied as cancer drug delivery vehicles. In this letter, we use unbiased coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to model the self-assembly of a PEG-PLGA nanoparticle and its solubulization of the anticancer peptide, EEK, with good agreement with previously reported experimental structural data. We applied unsupervised machine learning techniques to quantify the conformations that polymers adopt at various locations within the nanoparticle. We find that the local microenvironments formed by the various polymer conformations promote preferential EEK solubilization within specific regions of the NP. This demonstrates that these microenvironments are key in controlling drug storage locations within nanoparticles, supporting the rational design of nanoparticles for therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2011-2017
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Polymers/chemistry
  • Lactic Acid/chemistry
  • Polyethylene Glycols/chemistry
  • Drug Delivery Systems/methods
  • Peptides
  • Nanoparticles/chemistry
  • Drug Carriers/chemistry
  • Polyesters

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