Surface plasmon resonance as a high throughput method to evaluate specific and non-specific binding of nanotherapeutics

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Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is a powerful analytical technique used to quantitatively examine the interactions between various biomolecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids. The technique has been particularly useful in screening and evaluating binding affinity of novel small molecule and biomolecule-derived therapeutics for various diseases and applications including lupus medications, thrombin inhibitors, HIV protease inhibitors, DNA gyrase inhibitors and many others. Recently, there has been increasing interest in nanotherapeutics (nanoRx), due to their unique properties and potential for controlled release of encapsulated drugs and structure-specific targeting to diseased tissues. NanoRx offer the potential to solve many drug delivery challenges by enabling, specific interactions between molecules on the surface of the nanoparticle and molecules in the diseased tissue, while minimizing off-target interactions toward non-diseased tissues. These properties are largely dependent upon careful control and balance of nanoRx interactions and binding properties with tissues in vivo. Given the great promise of nanoRx with regard to engineering specific molecular interactions, SPR can rapidly quantify small aliquots of nanoRx formulations for desired and undesired molecular interactions. Moving forward, we believe that utilization of SPR in the screening and design of nanoRx has the potential to greatly improve the development of targeted nanoRx formulations and eventually lead to improved therapeutic efficacy. In this review, we discuss (1) the fundamental principles of SPR and basic quantitative analysis of SPR data, (2) previous applications of SPR in the study of non-particulate therapeutics and nanoRx, and (3) future opportunities for the use of SPR in the evaluation of nanoRx.

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