Generation-dependent templated self-assembly of biohybrid protein nanoparticles around photosensitizer dendrimers

F. Setaro, M. Brasch, U. Hahn, M.S.T. Koay, Jeroen Johannes Lambertus Maria Cornelissen, A de la Escosura, T. Torres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we show the great potential of dendrimers for driving the self-assembly of biohybrid protein nanoparticles. Dendrimers are periodically branched macromolecules with a perfectly defined and monodisperse structure. Moreover, they allow the possibility to incorporate functional units at predetermined sites, either at their core, branches, or surface. On these bases, we have designed and synthesized negatively charged phthalocyanine (Pc) dendrimers that behave as photosensitizers for the activation of molecular oxygen into singlet oxygen, one of the main reactive species in photodynamic therapy (PDT). The number of surface negative charges depends on dendrimer generation, whereas Pc aggregation can be tuned through the appropriate choice of the Pc metal center and its availability for axial substitution. Remarkably, both parameters determine the outcome and efficiency of the templated self-assembly process by which a virus protein forms 18 nm virus-like particles around these dendritic chromophores. Protein–dendrimer biohybrid nanoparticles of potential interest for therapeutic delivery purposes are obtained in this way. Biohybrid assemblies of this kind will have a central role in future nanomedical and nanotechnology applicati
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1245-1251
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • METIS-314436
  • IR-99553


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