Charge Has a Marked Influence on Hyperbranched Polymer Nanoparticle Association in Whole Human Blood

Joshua Julian Glass, Liyu Chen, Sheilajen Alcantara, Edmund J. Crampin, Kristofer J. Thurecht, Robert De Rose, Stephen J. Kent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we synthesize charge-varied hyperbranched polymers (HBPs) and demonstrate surface charge as a key parameter directing their association with specific human blood cell types. Using fresh human blood, we investigate the association of 5 nm HBPs with six white blood cell populations in their natural milieu by flow cytometry. While most cell types associate with cationic HBPs at 4 °C, at 37 °C phagocytic cells display similar (monocyte, dendritic cell) or greater (granulocyte) association with anionic HBPs compared to cationic HBPs. Neutral HBPs display remarkable stealth properties. Notably, these charge-association patterns are not solely defined by the plasma protein corona and are material and/or size dependent. As HBPs progress toward clinical use as imaging and drug delivery agents, the ability to engineer HBPs with defined biological properties is increasingly important. This knowledge can be used in the rational design of HBPs for more effective delivery to desired cell targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-592
Number of pages7
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2017

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