Preparation and characterization of novel HDL-mimicking nanoparticles for nerve growth factor encapsulation

Jing Zhu, Xiaowei Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The objective of this article is to introduce preparation and characterization methods for nerve growth factor (NGF)-loaded, high-density, lipoprotein (HDL)-mimicking nanoparticles (NPs). HDLs are endogenous NPs and have been explored as vehicles for the delivery of therapeutic agents. Various methods have been developed to prepare HDL-mimicking NPs. However, they are generally complicated, time consuming, and difficult for industrial scale-up. In this study, one-step homogenization was used to mix the excipients and form the prototype NPs. NGF is a water-soluble protein of 26 kDa. To facilitate the encapsulation of NGF into the lipid environment of HDL-mimicking NPs, protamine USP was used to form an ion-pair complex with NGF to neutralize the charges on the NGF surface. The NGF/protamine complex was then introduced into the prototype NPs. Apolipoprotein A-I was finally coated on the surface of the NPs. NGF HDL-mimicking NPs showed preferable properties in terms of particle size, size distribution, entrapment efficiency, in vitro release, bioactivity, and biodistribution. With the careful design and exploration of homogenization in HDL-mimicking NPs, the procedure was greatly simplified, and the NPs were made scalable. Moreover, various challenges, such as separating unloaded NGF from the NPs, conducting reliable in vitro release studies, and measuring the bioactivity of the NPs, were overcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere55584
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number123
StatePublished - 22 May 2017


  • Biodistribution
  • Bioengineering
  • Gel filtration chromatography
  • Homogenization
  • In vitro release
  • Issue 123
  • Macromolecule
  • Neurite outgrowth


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