Loading and release of fluorescent oligoarginine peptides into/from pH-responsive anionic supramolecular nanoparticles†
Supramolecular nanoparticles (SNPs) based on negatively charged polymeric components can act as pH-responsive systems which allow the encapsulation and release of a positively charged cargo by electrostatic interactions. Fluorescent SNPs, based on the negatively charged poly(isobutyl-alt-maleic acid) and labeled with rhodamine B, were used as carriers to encapsulate positively charged Argn peptides grafted with a cyanine dye. The energy transfer (FRET) between the dyes residing in a single particle was used to provide a sensing mechanism to study the encapsulation and release of the peptide cargo into/from the SNPs. The change in the spectral signature of the cyanine dye from encapsulated in the SNPs to free in solution was used to characterize the Argn release. Finally, in vitro experiments revealed that the Argn release from these SNPs occurred at the pH drop that mimics lysosome conditions.