Quantitatively Tracking Bio-Nano Interactions of Metal-Phenolic Nanocapsules by Mass Cytometry

Shiyao Li, Yi Ju, Jiajing Zhou, Ka Fung Noi, Andrew J. Mitchell, Tian Zheng, Stephen J. Kent, Christopher J.H. Porter, Frank Caruso

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Polymer nanocapsules, with a hollow structure, are increasingly finding widespread use as drug delivery carriers; however, quantitatively evaluating the bio-nano interactions of nanocapsules remains challenging. Herein, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based metal-phenolic network (MPN) nanocapsules of three sizes (50, 100, and 150 nm) are engineered via supramolecular template-assisted assembly and the effect of the nanocapsule size on bio-nano interactions is investigated using in vitro cell experiments, ex vivo whole blood assays, and in vivo rat models. To track the nanocapsules by mass cytometry, a preformed gold nanoparticle (14 nm) is encapsulated into each PEG-MPN nanocapsule. The results reveal that decreasing the size of the PEG-MPN nanocapsules from 150 to 50 nm leads to reduced association (up to 70%) with phagocytic blood cells in human blood and prolongs in vivo systemic exposure in rat models. The findings provide insights into MPN-based nanocapsules and represent a platform for studying bio-nano interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35494-35505
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2021


  • biodistribution
  • human full blood assays
  • metal-phenolic networks
  • nanocapsules
  • size-dependent bio-nano interactions

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