Virus-like particles (VLPs) have sparked a great interest in the field of nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine. The introduction of superparamagnetic nanoparticles (SPIONs) as a core, provides potential use of VLPs in the hyperthermia therapy, MRI contrast agents and magnetically-powered delivery agents. Magnetite NPs also provide a significant improvement in terms of VLPs stability. Moreover employing viral structural proteins as self-assembling units has opened a new paths for targeted therapy, drug delivery systems, vaccines design, and many more. In many cases, the self-assembly of a virus strongly depends on electrostatic interactions between positively charged groups of the capsid proteins and negatively charged nucleic acid. This phenomenon imposes the negative net charge as a key requirement for the core nanoparticle. In our experiments, Brome mosaic virus (BMV) capsid proteins isolated from infected plants Hordeum vulgare were used. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe3O4) with 15 nm in diameter were synthesized by thermal decomposition and functionalized with COOH-PEG-PL polymer or dihexadecylphosphate (DHP) in order to provide water solubility and negative charge required for the assembly. Nanoparticles were characterized by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), Zeta Potential, Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) magnetometry. TEM and DLS study were conducted to verify VLPs creation. This study demonstrates that the increase of negative surface charge is not a sufficient factor determining successful assembly. Additional steric interactions provided by longer ligands are crucial for the assembly of BMV SPION VLPs and may enhance the colloidal stability.
quantum interference device
Dynamic light scattering
500 Natural sciences and mathematics::530 Physics::530 Physics
The influence of ligand charge and length on the assembly of Brome mosaic virus derived virus-like particles with magnetic core
Institut für Experimentalphysik