Polymeric nanoparticles covalently functionalized with derivatized D-mannose molecules were synthesized and characterized. These nanoparticles have an average size of ˜160 nm in diameter, thus bearing a large number of surface-tethered mannose moieties for multivalent interactions with adhesins on bacterial cells. Specifically, the mannosylated nanoparticles bind strongly with Escherichia coli, allowing the convenient visualization of adhesion interactions under a conventional electron microscope. Since a single nanoparticle is capable of binding more than one cell, the adhesion interactions result in significant nanoparticle-mediated cell agglutination according to electron microscopy imaging. Potential applications of the mannosylated nanoparticles in the inhibition of enteropathogenic infections are discussed.
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