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All Publications

  • Affinity-Directed Dynamics of Host-Guest Motifs for Pharmacokinetic Modulation via Supramolecular PEGylation. Biomacromolecules Maikawa, C. L., d'Aquino, A. I., Vuong, E. T., Su, B., Zou, L., Chen, P. C., Nguyen, L. T., Autzen, A. A., Mann, J. L., Webber, M. J., Appel, E. A. 2021


    Proteins are an impactful class of therapeutics but can exhibit suboptimal therapeutic performance, arising from poor control over the timescale of clearance. Covalent PEGylation is one established strategy to extend circulation time but often at the cost of reduced activity and increased immunogenicity. Supramolecular PEGylation may afford similar benefits without necessitating that the protein be permanently modified with a polymer. Here, we show that insulin pharmacokinetics can be modulated by tuning the affinity-directed dynamics of a host-guest motif used to non-covalently endow insulin with a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chain. When administered subcutaneously, supramolecular PEGylation with higher binding affinities extends the time of total insulin exposure systemically. Pharmacokinetic modeling reveals that the extension in the duration of exposure arises specifically from decreased absorption from the subcutaneous depot governed directly by the affinity and dynamics of host-guest exchange. The lifetime of the supramolecular interaction thus dictates the rate of absorption, with negligible impact attributed to association of the PEG upon rapid dilution of the supramolecular complex in circulation. This modular approach to supramolecular PEGylation offers a powerful tool to tune protein pharmacokinetics in response to the needs of different disease applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.biomac.1c00648

    View details for PubMedID 34314146

  • Multi-State Dynamic Coordination Complexes Interconverted through Counterion-Controlled Phase Transfer INORGANIC CHEMISTRY Cheng, H., Paul, M. K., D'Aquino, A., Stern, C. L., Mirkin, C. A. 2021; 60 (7): 4755-4763


    We studied a series of dynamic weak-link approach (WLA) complexes that can be shuttled between two immiscible solvents and switched between two structural states via ion exchange. Here, we established that hydrophobic anions transfer cationic, amphiphilic complexes from the aqueous phase to the organic phase, while a chloride source reverses the process. As a result of the dynamic metal coordination properties of WLA complexes, the denticity of these complexes (mono- to bi-) can be modulated as they partition into different phases. In addition, we discovered that heteroligated complexes bearing ligands of different donor strengths preferentially rearrange into two homoligated complexes that are phase-partitioned to maximize the number of stronger coordination bonds. This behavior is not observed in systems with one solvent, highlighting the dynamic and stimuli-responsive nature of hemilabile ligands in a multiphasic solvent environment. Taken together, this work shows that the highly reconfigurable WLA modality can enable the design of biphasic reaction networks or chemical separations driven by straightforward salt metathesis reactions.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.0c03708

    View details for Web of Science ID 000637850300061

    View details for PubMedID 33719417

  • Engineering biopharmaceutical formulations to improve diabetes management. Science translational medicine Maikawa, C. L., d'Aquino, A. I., Lal, R. A., Buckingham, B. A., Appel, E. A. 2021; 13 (578)


    Insulin was first isolated almost a century ago, yet commercial formulations of insulin and its analogs for hormone replacement therapy still fall short of appropriately mimicking endogenous glycemic control. Moreover, the controlled delivery of complementary hormones (such as amylin or glucagon) is complicated by instability of the pharmacologic agents and complexity of maintaining multiple infusions. In this review, we highlight the advantages and limitations of recent advances in drug formulation that improve protein stability and pharmacokinetics, prolong drug delivery, or enable alternative dosage forms for the management of diabetes. With controlled delivery, these formulations could improve closed-loop glycemic control.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.abd6726

    View details for PubMedID 33504649