Functionalization with PEG/Angiopep-2 peptide to improve the delivery of gold nanoprisms to central nervous system: in vitro and in vivo studies

Andreas Tapia-Arellano, Eduardo Gallardo-Toledo, Camilo Ortiz, Jonathan Henríquez, Carmen G. Feijóo, Eyleen Araya, Rodrigo Sierpe, Marcelo J. Kogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


One of main drawbacks for the treatment of neurodegenerative pathologies is ensuring the delivery of therapeutic agents into the central nervous system (CNS). Nowadays, gold nanoprisms (GNPr) have become an emerging nanomaterial with a localized surface plasmon resonance in the biological window, showing applications in both detection and treatment of diseases. In this work, GNPr were functionalized with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and Angiopep-2 (Ang2) peptide to obtain a new highly stable nanomaterial and evaluate its toxicity and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in a zebrafish larvae model. The success in the functionalization was confirmed by a full characterization that showed the physicochemical changes at each step. In turn, the colloidal stability of GNPr-PEG-Ang2 in biologically relevant media also was demonstrated. The toxicity assays of GNPr-PEG-Ang2 performed on SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line and on zebrafish larvae showed no effects both in vitro and in vivo. GNPr delivery to the CNS was studied in zebrafish larvae by immersion. We confirmed that functionalization with PEG-Ang2 improved the crossing through the BBB in this model compared with GNPr functionalized only with PEG. Notably, our nanomaterial was not detected in the CNS of zebrafish larvae 24 h after exposure that correlates with an adequate clearance of GNPr-PEG-Ang2 from the brain. This report is the first study of GNPr in the in vivo model of zebrafish larvae demonstrating that its functionalization with Ang2 allows the crossing of the BBB. Moreover, considering the stability achieved of the GNPr-PEG-Ang2 and the results of in vitro and in vivo studies, this work becomes a high contribution to the design of new nanomaterials with potential biomedical applications for CNS-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111785
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Angiopep-2 peptide
  • Biodistribution
  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Central nervous system
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Gold nanoprisms
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Zebrafish larvae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Functionalization with PEG/Angiopep-2 peptide to improve the delivery of gold nanoprisms to central nervous system: in vitro and in vivo studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this