Compartmentalized supramolecular hydrogels based on viral nanocages towards sophisticated cargo administration

Liulin Yang, Aijie Liu, Mark V. De Ruiter, Catharina A. Hommersom, Nathalie Katsonis, Pascal Jonkheijm* (Corresponding Author), Jeroen J.L.M. Cornelissen (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction of compartments with defined spaces inside a hydrogel network brings unique features, such as cargo quantification, stabilization and diminishment of burst release, which are all desired for biomedical applications. As a proof of concept, guest-modified cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV) particles and complementary guest-modified hydroxylpropyl cellulose (HPC) were non-covalently cross-linked through the formation of ternary host-guest complexes with cucurbit[8]uril (CB[8]). Furthermore, CCMV based virus-like particles (VLPs) loaded with tetrasulfonated zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc) were prepared, with a loading efficiency up to 99%, which are subsequently successfully integrated inside the supramolecular hydrogel network. It was shown that compartments provided by protein cages not only help to quantify the loaded ZnPc cargo, but also improve the water solubility of ZnPc to avoid undesired aggregation. Moreover, the VLPs together with ZnPc cargo can be released in a controlled way without an initial burst release. The photodynamic effect of ZnPc molecules was retained after encapsulation of capsid protein and release from the hydrogel. This line of research suggests a new approach for sophisticated drug administration in supramolecular hydrogels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4123-4129
Number of pages7
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Compartmentalized supramolecular hydrogels based on viral nanocages towards sophisticated cargo administration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this