Internal Structure of 15 nm 3-Helix Micelle Revealed by Small-Angle Neutron Scattering and Coarse-Grained MD Simulation

Joochuan Ang, Dan Ma, Reidar Lund, Sinan Keten, Ting Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

3-Helix micelles (3HM) formed by self-assembly of peptide-polymer conjugate amphiphiles have shown promise as a nanocarrier platform due to their long-circulation, deep tumor penetration, selective accumulation in tumor, and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) for glioblastoma therapy. There is a need to understand the structural contribution to the high in vivo stability and performance of 3HM. Using selective deuteration, the contrast variation technique in small-angle neutron scattering, and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation, we determined the spatial distribution of each component within 3HM. Our results show a slightly deformed polyethylene glycol (PEG) conformation within the micelle that is radially offset from its conjugation site toward the exterior of the micelle and a highly solvated shell. Surprisingly, ∼85 v/v % of 3HM is water, unusually higher than any micellar nanocarrier based on our knowledge. The result will provide important structural insights for future studies to uncover the molecular origin of 3HM's in vivo performance, and development of the nanocarriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3262-3267
Number of pages6
JournalBiomacromolecules
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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