We are excited to bring to your attention our newest Article in ACS Nano, published 18 June 2021.
Targeted delivery of molecular cargos to specific organelles is one of key challenges in developing successful therapeutics and imaging tools. Our publication describes a nanoengineered system in which appropriately crafted, mixed-charge nanoparticles deliver fluorescent payloads exclusively to mitochndria -- of note, the fluorescent "warhead" is the familiar and otherwise non-specific fluorescein. The specific targeting arises from a combination of several carefully crafted features: (1) Non-covalent binding of the fluorescent molecules to the mixed-charge nanoparticles; (ii) The ability of these nanoparticles to enter and navigate the endosomal tract; and (iii) selective detachment of the fluorescent payloads upon intermittent contacts with mitochondria. The targeting is not only selective but also long term, with the unprecedented ability to track mitochondrial dynamics even in dividing cellls.
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