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Synthesis and characterisation of glucose-functional glycopolymers and gold nanoparticles: study of their potential interactions with ovine red blood cells

Wilkins, Laura E., Phillips, Daniel J., Deller, Robert C., Davies, Gemma-Louise, Gibson, Matthew I.
Carbohydrate research 2015 v.405 pp. 47-54
agglutination, erythrocytes, glucose, glucose transporters, glycosylation, hemolysis, humans, image analysis, nanogold, polymerization, sheep
Carbohydrate–protein interactions can assist with the targeting of polymer- and nano-delivery systems. However, some potential protein targets are not specific to a single cell type, resulting in reductions in their efficacy due to undesirable non-specific cellular interactions. The glucose transporter 1 (GLUT-1) is expressed to different extents on most cells in the vasculature, including human red blood cells and on cancerous tissue. Glycosylated nanomaterials bearing glucose (or related) carbohydrates, therefore, could potentially undergo unwanted interactions with these transporters, which may compromise the nanomaterial function or lead to cell agglutination, for example. Here, RAFT polymerisation is employed to obtain well-defined glucose-functional glycopolymers as well as glycosylated gold nanoparticles. Agglutination and binding assays did not reveal any significant binding to ovine red blood cells, nor any haemolysis. These data suggest that gluco-functional nanomaterials are compatible with blood, and their lack of undesirable interactions highlights their potential for delivery and imaging applications.