Paired Therapeutic Nanoparticles Attach to Cells Based on Their Position in Time

The movement of therapeutic particles when they bind to receptor sites on human cells could indicate the effectiveness of drug treatments. In a new study in which drug-delivering nanoparticles were paired up, researchers observed that molecules attached to targets on cells differently based upon their position in time.

Up to now, it was believed that particles slowed down and became trapped when they bound to a receptor on a cell. This study showed otherwise. “We saw the particles rotated differently based upon when they became trapped in binding to their receptors,” said Yan Yu, assistant professor in the Indiana University Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry.

“We found that the particles began with random rotation, moved to rocking motion, then a circling motion and finally a confined circling motion,” Yu explained. “The observation of this wide range of rotational motion—and the transition from one form to the next at different points in time—is completely new.”

In addition, the researchers were able to start connecting these different motions to different bond strengths.

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