Inhibiting Phase Transfer of Protein Nanoparticles by Surface Camouflage–A Versatile and Efficient Protein Encapsulation Strategy

Pei Zhang, Cong Li, Tianhe Huang, Yuancheng Bai, Peng Quan, Wei Li, Zifan Zhang, Feng Zhang, Zehua Liu, Bowen Wan, Alexandra Correia, Jie Zhang, Xuri Wu, Jouni T. Hirvonen, Hélder A. Santos, Jin Fan, Ting Cai, Dongfei Liu

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Engineering a system with a high mass fraction of active ingredients, especially water-soluble proteins, is still an ongoing challenge. In this work, we developed a versatile surface camouflage strategy that can engineer systems with an ultrahigh mass fraction of proteins. By formulating protein molecules into nanoparticles, the demand of molecular modification was transformed into a surface camouflage of protein nanoparticles. Thanks to electrostatic attractions and van der Waals interactions, we camouflaged the surface of protein nanoparticles through the adsorption of carrier materials. The adsorption of carrier materials successfully inhibited the phase transfer of insulin, albumin, β-lactoglobulin, and ovalbumin nanoparticles. As a result, the obtained microcomposites featured with a record of protein encapsulation efficiencies near 100% and a record of protein mass fraction of 77%. After the encapsulation in microcomposites, the insulin revealed a hypoglycemic effect for at least 14 d with one single injection, while that of insulin solution was only ∼4 h.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalNano Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

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