SPIONs functionalized with small peptides for binding of lipopolysaccharide, a pathophysiologically relevant microbial product

Weronika Karawacka, Christina Janko*, Harald Unterweger, Marina Mühlberger, Stefan Lyer, Nicola Taccardi, Andriy Mokhir, Wolfgang Jira, Wolfgang Peukert, Aldo R. Boccaccini, Mikhail Kolot, Richard Strauss, Christian Bogdan, Christoph Alexiou, Rainer Tietze

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Systemic inflammation such as sepsis represents an acute life-threatening condition, to which often no timely remedy can be found. A promising strategy may be to functionalize magnetic nanoparticles with specific peptides, derived from the binding motives of agglutinating salivary proteins, that allow immobilization of pathogens. In this work, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with stable polycondensed aminoalkylsilane layer were developed, to which the heterobifunctional linkers N-succinimidyl 3-(2-pyridyldithio)-propanoate (SDPD) and N-succinimidyl bromoacetate (SBA) were bound. These linkers were further chemoselectively reacted with the thiol group of singularly present cysteines of selected peptides. The resulting functional nanoparticles underwent a detailed physicochemical characterization. The biocompatibility of the primarily coated aminoalkylsilane particles was also investigated. To test the pathogen-binding efficacy of the particles, the lipopolysaccharide-immobilization capacity of the peptide-coated particles was compared with free peptides. Here, one particle-bound peptide species succeeded in capturing 90% of the toxin, whereas the degree of immobilization of the toxin with a system that varied in the sequence of the peptide dropped to 35%. With these promising results, we hope to develop extracorporeal magnetic clearance systems for removing pathogens from the human body in order to accelerate diagnosis and alleviate acute disease conditions such as sepsis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Magnetic clearence
  • Pathogen immobilization
  • Salivary agglutinin peptide
  • Sepsis
  • Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles


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