Homogeneous conjugation of peptides onto gold nanoparticles enhances macrophage response

Neus G. Bastús, Ester Sánchez-Tilló, Silvia Pujals, Consol Farrera, Carmen López, Ernest Giralt, Antonio Celada, Jorge Lloberas, Victor Puntes

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141 Citations (Scopus)


Murine bone marrow macrophages were able to recognize gold nanoparticle peptide conjugates, while peptides or nanoparticles alone were not recognized. Consequently, in the presence of conjugates, macrophage proliferation was stopped and pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, as well as nitric oxide synthase (N0S2) were induced. Furthermore, macrophage activation by gold nanoparticles conjugated to different peptides appeared to be rather independent of peptide length and polarity, but dependent on peptide pattern at the nanoparticle surface. Correspondingly, the biochemical type of response also depended on the type of conjugated peptide and could be correlated with the degree of ordering in the peptide coating. These findings help to illustrate the basic requirements involved in medical nanoparticle conjugate design to either activate the immune system or hide from it in order to reach their targets before being removed by phagocytes. © 2009 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1335-1344
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2009


  • Cell internalization
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Immune system
  • Peptide conjugation
  • Proinflammatory response


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