Length-Dependent Cellular Internalization of Nanobody-Functionalized Poly(2-oxazoline) Nanorods

John R. Finnegan, Laura I. FitzGerald, Moore Zhe Chen, Nicole M. Warne, Daniel Yuen, Thomas P. Davis, Angus P.R. Johnston, Kristian Kempe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The ability to target specific tissues and to be internalized by cells is critical for successful nanoparticle-based targeted drug delivery. Here, we combined “stealthy” rod-shaped poly(2-oxazoline) (POx) nanoparticles of different lengths with a cancer marker targeting nanobody and a fluorescent cell internalization sensor via a heat-induced living crystallization-driven self-assembly (CDSA) strategy. A significant increase in association and uptake driven by nanobody-receptor interactions was observed alongside nanorod-length-dependent kinetics. Importantly, the incorporation of the internalization sensor allowed for quantitative differentiation between cell surface association and internalization of the targeted nanorods, revealing unprecedented length-dependent cellular interactions of CDSA nanorods. This study highlights the modularity and versatility of the heat-induced CDSA process and further demonstrates the potential of POx nanorods as a modular nanomedicine platform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89–96
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2024


  • cellular uptake
  • crystallization
  • nanobody
  • nanorod
  • nanosensor
  • poly(2-oxazoline)

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