05.04.2022: Publication Alert - Polymer Micelles vs Polymer–Lipid Hybrid Vesicles: A Comparison Using RAW 264.7 Cells
Bottom-up synthetic biology aims to integrate artificial moieties with living cells and tissues.
Bottom-up synthetic biology aims to integrate artificial moieties with living cells and tissues. Here, two types of structural scaffolds for artificial organelles were compared in terms of their ability to interact with macrophage-like murine RAW 264.7 cells. The amphiphilic block copolymer poly(cholesteryl methacrylate)-block-poly(2-carboxyethyl acrylate) was used to assemble micelles and polymer–lipid hybrid vesicles together with 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine or 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE) lipids in the latter case. In addition, the pH-sensitive fusogenic peptide GALA was conjugated to the carriers to improve their lysosomal escape ability. All assemblies had low short-term toxicity toward macrophage-like murine RAW 264.7 cells, and the cells internalized both the micelles and hybrid vesicles within 24 h. Assemblies containing DOPE lipids or GALA in their building blocks could escape the lysosomes. However, the intracellular retention of the building blocks was only a few hours in all the cases. Taken together, the provided comparison between two types of potential scaffolds for artificial organelles lays out the fundamental understanding required to advance soft material-based assemblies as intracellular nanoreactors.