Effects of PEGylation on biomimetic synthesis of magnetoferritin nanoparticles
Recent studies have demonstrated that ferrimagnetic magnetoferritin nanoparticles are a promising novel magnetic nanomaterial in biomedical applications, including biocatalysis, imaging, diagnostics, and tumor therapy. Here we investigated the PEGylation of human H-ferritin (HFn) proteins and the possible influence on biomimetic synthesis of magnetoferritin nanoparticles. The outer surface of HFn proteins was chemically modified with different PEG molecular weights (PEG10K and PEG20K) and different modification ratios (HFn subunit:PEG20K = 1:1, 1:2, 1:4). The PEGylated HFn proteins were used for biomimetic synthesis of ferrimagnetic magnetoferritin nanoparticles. We found that, compared with magnetoferritin using non-PEGylated HFn protein templates, the synthesized magnetoferritin using the PEGylated HFn protein templates possessed larger magnetite cores, higher magnetization and relaxivity values, and improved thermal stability. These results suggest that the PEGylation of H-ferritin may improve the biomineralization of magnetoferritin nanoparticles and enhance their biomedical applications.