Multivalent Protein-Loaded pH-Stable Polymersomes: First Step toward Protein Targeted Therapeutics

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Synthetic platforms for mimicking artificial organelles or for designing multivalent protein therapeutics for targeting cell surface, extracellular matrix, and tissues are in the focus of this study. Furthermore, the availability of a multi-functionalized and stimuli-responsive carrier system is required that can be used for sequential in situ and/or post loading of different proteins combined with post-functionalization steps. Until now, polymersomes exhibit excellent key characteristics to fulfill those requirements, which allow specific transport of proteins and the integration of proteins in different locations of polymeric vesicles. Herein, different approaches to fabricate multivalent protein-loaded, pH-responsive, and pH-stable polymersomes are shown, where a combination of therapeutic action and targeting can be achieved, by first choosing two model proteins such as human serum albumin and avidin. Validation of the molecular parameters of the multivalent biohybrids is performed by dynamic light scattering, cryo-TEM, fluorescence spectroscopy, and asymmetrical flow-field flow fractionation combined with light scattering techniques. To demonstrate targeting functions of protein-loaded polymersomes, avidin post-functionalized polymersomes are used for the molecular recognition of biotinylated cell surface receptors. These versatile protein-loaded polymersomes present new opportunities for designing sophisticated biomolecular nanoobjects in the field of (extracellular matrix) protein therapeutics.


Original languageEnglish
Article number2100102
JournalMacromolecular bioscience
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

External IDs

PubMed 34355506
ORCID /0000-0002-5726-386X/work/142249122
ORCID /0000-0002-4531-691X/work/148607620



  • in situ and post loading, molecular recognition and conjugation, polymersomes, post-functionalization, proteins, SPAAC