Tailoring the stealth properties of biocompatible polysaccharide nanocontainers

Biao Kang, Patricia Okwieka, Susanne Schöttler, Oliver Seifert, Roland E. Kontermann, Klaus Pfizenmaier, Anna Musyanovych, Ralf Meyer, Mustafa Diken, Ugur Sahin, Volker Mailänder, Frederik R. Wurm*, Katharina Landfester

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Fundamental development of a biocompatible and degradable nanocarrier platform based on hydroxyethyl starch (HES) is reported. HES is a derivative of starch and possesses both high biocompatibility and improved stability against enzymatic degradation; it is used to prepare nanocapsules via the polyaddition reaction at the interface of water nanodroplets dispersed in an organic miniemulsion. The synthesized hollow nanocapsules can be loaded with hydrophilic guests in its aqueous core, tuned in size, chemically functionalized in various pathways, and show high shelf life stability. The surface of the HES nanocapsules is further functionalized with poly(ethylene glycol) via different chemistries, which substantially enhanced blood half-life time. Importantly, methods for precise and reliable quantification of the degree of functionalization are also introduced, which enable the precise control of the chemistry on the capsules' surface. The stealth properties of these capsules is studied both in-vitro and in-vivo. The functionalized nanocapsules serve as a modular platform for specific cell targeting, as they show no unspecific up-taken by different cell types and show very long circulating time in blood (up to 72h).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydroxyl ethyl starch
  • Miniemulsion
  • Nanocarrier
  • PEGylation
  • Stealth effect


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