Erythrocyte Membrane Modified Janus Polymeric Motors for Thrombus Therapy

Jingxin Shao, Mona Abdelghani, Guizhi Shen, Shoupeng Cao, David S. Williams, and Jan C. M. van Hest

Published: 22/05/2018


We report the construction of erythrocyte membrane-cloaked Janus polymeric motors (EM-JPMs) which are propelled by near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation and are successfully applied in thrombus ablation. Chitosan (a natural polysaccharide with positive charge, CHI) and heparin (glycosaminoglycan with negative charge, Hep) were selected as wall materials to construct biodegradable and biocompatible capsules through the layer-by-layer self-assembly technique. By partially coating the capsule with a gold (Au) layer through sputter coating, a NIR-responsive Janus structure was obtained. Due to the asymmetric distribution of Au, a local thermal gradient was generated upon NIR irradiation, resulting in the movement of the JPMs through the self-thermophoresis effect. The reversible “on/off” motion of the JPMs and their motile behavior were easily tuned by the incident NIR laser intensity. After biointerfacing the Janus capsules with an erythrocyte membrane, the EM-JPMs displayed red blood cell related properties, which enabled them to move efficiently in relevant biological environments (cell culture, serum, and blood). Furthermore, this therapeutic platform exhibited excellent performance in ablation of thrombus through photothermal therapy. As man-made micromotors, these biohybrid EM-JPMs hold great promise of navigating in vivo for active delivery while overcoming the drawbacks of existing synthetic therapeutic platforms. We expect that this biohybrid motor has considerable potential to be widely used in the biomedical field.

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