Molecularly Imprinted Silk Fibroin Nanoparticles


Authors: Alessandra Maria Bossi, Alessio Bucciarelli, and Devid Maniglio

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2021, 13, 27, 31431–31439 Published: June 30, 2021

Abstract: Nanosized biomimetics prepared by the strategy of molecular imprinting, that is, the stamping of recognition sites by means of a template-assisted synthesis, are demonstrating potential as plastic antibodies in medicine, proving effective for cell imaging and targeted therapies. Most molecularly imprinted nanoparticles (MIP-NPs) are currently made of soft matter, such as polyacrylamide and derivatives. Yet, MIP-NPs biocompatibility is crucial for their effective translation into clinical uses. Here, we propose the original idea to synthesize fully biocompatible molecularly imprinted nanoparticles starting from the natural polymer silk fibroin (MIP SF-NPs), which is nontoxic and highly biocompatible. The conditions to produce MIP SF-NPs of different sizes (dmean ∼ 50 nm; dmean ∼ 100 nm) were set using the response surface method. The stamping of a single, high affinity (KD = 57 × 10−9 M), and selective recognition site per silk fibroin nanoparticle was demonstrated, together with the confirmation of nontoxicity. Additionally, MIP SF-NPs were used to decorate silk microfibers and silk nanofibers, providing a general means to add entailed biofunctionalities to materials.

Keywords: molecularly imprinted polymers, silk fibroin, biomimetics, functional nanoparticles, natural biomaterials

About the Cover: Molecularly imprinted silk fibroin nanoparticles provide the extra functionalities to bind a target molecule to silk fibers.

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, Juli 14,2021 - vol 13, Issue 27, Pages 31321 - 32600
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces | Vol 13, No 27