Virus-Like Particle Qβ : a Scaffold for Imaging and Plasmonic Gold Nanoparticles




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Nanoparticles, upon their introduction, seemed to be the key to solving many issues surrounding human illness, however, poor control of nanoparticle size distribution, long-term bioaccumulation, and toxicity are obstacles that continue to plague nanoparticle use in biomedical applications. To this end, nanoscopic virus-like particles (VLPs) have been continually developed to become a powerful tool in the fields of virology, drug delivery, and imaging applications. To date, more than 100 VLPs have been constructed to yield monodisperse capsids that mimic the native virus but lack the ability to self-replicate and are therefore considered noninfectious. These macromolecules possess interior cargo space and facile modification of solvent-exposed amino acid residues using chemical conjugation. Unlike semi-and fully synthetic nanoparticles such as dendrimers, liposomes, and solid nanoparticles, VLPs offer more precise cargo loading, ease of production, biocompatibility and innate immunogenicity – making an attractive system for further development. This work investigates the use of spherical VLP Qβ as a scaffold and drug carrier and delves into its ability to perform as a biomedically-relevant entity.



Proteins, Nanoparticles, Bioconjugates


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