Virus-inspired design principles of nanoparticle-based bioagents

Hongyan Yuan, Changjin Huang, Sulin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The highly effectiveness and robustness of receptor-mediated viral invasion of living cells shed lights on the biomimetic design of nanoparticle(NP)-based therapeutics. Through thermodynamic analysis, we elucidate that the mechanisms governing both the endocytic time of a single NP and the cellular uptake can be unified into a general energy-balance framework of NP-membrane adhesion and membrane deformation. Yet the NP-membrane adhesion strength is a globally variable quantity that effectively regulates the NP uptake rate. Our analysis shows that the uptake rate interrelatedly depends on the particle size and ligand density, in contrast to the widely reported size effect. Our model predicts that the optimal radius of NPs for maximal uptake rate falls in the range of 25-30 nm, and optimally several tens of ligands should be coated onto NPs. These findings are supported by both recent experiments and typical viral structures, and serve as fundamental principles for the rational design of NP-based nanomedicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13495
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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