Current biomimetics for medical applications use a single biomimetic approach to imitate natural structures, which can be insufficient for reconstructing structurally complex natural systems. Multipronged efforts may resolve these complexities. To achieve interesting nanostructure-driven optical properties, a dual-biomimetic system contained within a single nanoagent was engineered to recapitulate chlorosomes, efficient light-harvesting organelles that have unique dye assemblies and tunable photonic properties. A series of chlorin dyes was synthesized, and these hydrophobic assemblies were stabilized inside a high-density lipoprotein, a second biomimetic that enabled in vivo utility. This system resulted in tunable tumor imaging of intact (photoacoustic) and disrupted (activatable fluorescence) nanostructures. The successful demonstration of this multipronged biomimetic approach opens the door for reconstruction of complex natural systems for biomedical applications.
Keywords: biomimetics; imaging agents; lipoproteins; nanoparticles; self-assembly.
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