Enzyme-Responsive Nanoparticles for the Targeted Delivery of an MMP Inhibitor to Acute Myocardial Infarction

Holly L. Sullivan, Yifei Liang, Kendra Worthington, Colin Luo, Nathan C. Gianneschi*, Karen L. Christman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Herein, we have developed a drug-loaded matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-responsive micellar nanoparticle (NP) intended for minimally invasive intravenous injection during the acute phase of myocardial infarction (MI) and prolonged retention in the heart for small-molecule drug delivery. Peptide-polymer amphiphiles (PPAs) bearing a small-molecule MMP inhibitor (MMPi), PD166793, were synthesized via ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) and formulated into spherical micelles by transitioning to aqueous solution. The resulting micellar NPs underwent MMP-induced aggregation, demonstrating enzyme responsiveness. Using a rat MI model, we observed that these NPs were capable of successfully extravasating into the infarcted region of the heart where they were retained due to the active, enzyme-mediated targeting, remaining detectable after 1 week post administration without increasing macrophage recruitment. Furthermore, in vitro studies show that these NPs demonstrated successful drug release following MMP treatment and maintained drug bioactivity as evidenced by comparable MMP inhibition to free MMPi. This work establishes a targeted NP platform for delivering small-molecule therapeutics to the heart after MI, opening possibilities for myocardial infarction treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4695-4704
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 13 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Biomaterials


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