Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Research Associate







432MBone BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

2 results found

Wang W, Guo Y, Tiede C, Chen S, Kopytynski M, Kong Y, Kulak A, Tomlinson D, Chen R, McPherson M, Zhou Det al., 2017, Ultraefficient Cap-Exchange Protocol To Compact Biofunctional Quantum Dots for Sensitive Ratiometric Biosensing and Cell Imaging., ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Vol: 9, Pages: 15232-15244, ISSN: 1944-8244

An ultraefficient cap-exchange protocol (UCEP) that can convert hydrophobic quantum dots (QDs) into stable, biocompatible, and aggregation-free water-dispersed ones at a ligand:QD molar ratio (LQMR) as low as 500, some 20-200-fold less than most literature methods, has been developed. The UCEP works conveniently with air-stable lipoic acid (LA)-based ligands by exploiting tris(2-carboxylethyl phosphine)-based rapid in situ reduction. The resulting QDs are compact (hydrodynamic radius, Rh, < 4.5 nm) and bright (retaining > 90% of original fluorescence), resist nonspecific adsorption of proteins, and display good stability in biological buffers even with high salt content (e.g., 2 M NaCl). These advantageous properties make them well suited for cellular imaging and ratiometric biosensing applications. The QDs prepared by UCEP using dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA)-zwitterion ligand can be readily conjugated with octa-histidine (His8)-tagged antibody mimetic proteins (known as Affimers). These QDs allow rapid, ratiometric detection of the Affimer target protein down to 10 pM via a QD-sensitized Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) readout signal. Moreover, compact biotinylated QDs can be readily prepared by UCEP in a facile, one-step process. The resulting QDs have been further employed for ratiometric detection of protein, exemplified by neutravidin, down to 5 pM, as well as for fluorescence imaging of target cancer cells.

Journal article

Chen S, Wang S, Kopytynski M, Bachelet M, Chen Ret al., 2017, Membrane-anchoring, comb-like pseudopeptides for efficient, pH-mediated membrane destabilization and intracellular delivery, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Vol: 9, Pages: 8021-8029, ISSN: 1944-8244

Endosomal release has been identified as a rate-limiting step for intracellular delivery of therapeutic agents, in particular macromolecular drugs. Herein, we report a series of synthetic pH-responsive, membrane-anchoring polymers exhibiting dramatic endosomolytic activity for efficient intracellular delivery. The comb-like pseudopeptidic polymers were synthesized by grafting different amounts of decylamine (NDA), which act as hydrophobic membrane anchors, onto the pendant carboxylic acid groups of a pseudopeptide, poly(l-lysine iso-phthalamide). The effects of the hydrophobic relatively long alkyl side chains on aqueous solution properties, cell membrane destabilization activity, and in-vitro cytotoxicity were investigated. The optimal polymer containing 18 mol % NDA exhibited limited hemolysis at pH 7.4 but induced nearly complete membrane destabilization at endosomal pH within only 20 min. The mechanistic investigation of membrane destabilization suggests the polymer-mediated pore formation. It has been demonstrated that the polymer with hydrophobic side chains displayed a considerable endosomolytic ability to release endocytosed materials into the cytoplasm of various cell lines, which is of critical importance for intracellular drug delivery applications.

Journal article

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