Size-controlled synthesis of granular polyphosphate nanoparticles at physiologic salt concentrations for blood clotting

Biomacromolecules. 2014 Nov 10;15(11):3976-84. doi: 10.1021/bm501046t. Epub 2014 Oct 7.


Size-controlled granular polyphosphate (PolyP) nanoparticles were synthesized by precipitation in aqueous solutions containing physiological concentrations of calcium and magnesium. We demonstrate using dynamic light scattering (DLS) that the solubility is correlated inversely with PolyP chain length, with very long chain PolyP (PolyP1000+, more than 1000 repeating units) normally found in prokaryotes precipitating much more robustly than shorter chains like those found in human platelet dense granules (PolyP80, range 76-84 repeating units). It is believed that the precipitation of PolyP is a reversible process involving calcium coordination to phosphate monomers in the polymer chain. The particles are stable in aqueous buffer and albumin suspensions on time scales roughly equivalent to catastrophic bleeding events. Transmission electron microscopy images demonstrate that the PolyP nanoparticles are spherical and uniformly electron dense, with a particle diameter of 200-250 nm, closely resembling the content of acidocalcisomes. X-ray elemental analysis further reveals that the P/Ca ratio is 67:32. The granular nanoparticles also manifest promising procoagulant effects, as measured by in vitro clotting tests assaying contact pathway activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects*
  • Blood Coagulation / physiology
  • Calcium Chloride / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Magnesium Chloride / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Particle Size*
  • Polyphosphates / chemical synthesis*
  • Polyphosphates / pharmacology


  • Polyphosphates
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • Calcium Chloride