Multifunctional Nanoparticles from a Carnivorous Fungus

  • Author: Melania Tesio
  • Published: 30 December 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Advanced Functional Materials/Wiley-VCH
thumbnail image: Multifunctional Nanoparticles from a Carnivorous Fungus

Organic nanoparticles are naturally produced by various organisms. Due to their high biocompatibility, they have potential biomedical applications.

Yongzhong Wang and colleagues, The University of Tennessee, USA, discovered that the carnivorous fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora secretes nanoparticles endowed of immune-modulatory and anti-tumoral properties. These particles are spherical and constituted by glycosaminoglycans and proteins. When incubated with immune cells, they stimulated the production of tumor necrosis factor α, a potent pro-inflammatory molecule. Furthermore, they were able to kill tumor cells in vitro and to function as a drug carrier as they could be conjugated, via amide linkages, to the antitumor drug doxorubicin.

Arthrobotrys oligospora’s nanoparticles may thus have important applications for chemotherapy, drug delivery, and immune regulation.

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