Nanoparticle amplification via photothermal unveiling of cryptic collagen binding sites.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Mater Chem B Mater Biol Med, Volume 1, Issue 39, p.5235-5240 (2013)


The success of nanoparticle-based cancer therapies ultimately depends on their ability to selectively and efficiently accumulate in regions of disease. Outfitting nanoparticles to actively target tumor-specific markers has improved specificity, yet it remains a challenge to amass adequate therapy in a selective manner. To help address this challenge, we have developed a mechanism of nanoparticle amplification based on stigmergic (environment-modifying) signalling, in which a "Signalling" population of gold nanorods induces localized unveiling of cryptic collagen epitopes, which are in turn targeted by "Responding" nanoparticles bearing gelatin-binding fibronectin fragments. We demonstrate that this two-particle system results in significantly increased, selective recruitment of responding particles. Such amplification strategies have the potential to overcome limitations associated with single-particle targeting by leveraging the capacity of nanoparticles to interact with their environment to create abundant new binding motifs.