Erythrocyte membrane-camouflaged polymeric nanoparticles as a biomimetic delivery platform

Che Ming J. Hu, Li Zhang, Santosh Aryal, Connie Cheung, Ronnie H. Fang, Liangfang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1813 Scopus citations


Efforts to extend nanoparticle residence time in vivo have inspired many strategies in particle surface modifications to bypass macrophage uptake and systemic clearance. Here we report a top-down biomimetic approach in particle functionalization by coating biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles with natural erythrocyte membranes, including both membrane lipids and associated membrane proteins for long-circulating cargo delivery. The structure, size and surface zeta potential, and protein contents of the erythrocyte membrane-coated nanoparticles were verified using transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, and gel electrophoresis, respectively. Mice injections with fluorophore-loaded nano-particles revealed superior circulation half-life by the erythrocytemimicking nanoparticles as compared to control particles coated with the state-of-the-art synthetic stealth materials. Biodistribution study revealed significant particle retention in the blood 72 h following the particle injection. The translocation of natural cellular membranes, their associated proteins, and the corresponding functionalities to the surface of synthetic particles represents a unique approach in nanoparticle functionalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10980-10985
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 5 2011


  • Biomimetic nanoparticle
  • Drug delivery
  • Long circulation
  • Red blood cell membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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