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Open Access Giant Host Red Blood Cell Membrane Mimicking Polymersomes Bind Parasite Proteins and Malaria Parasites

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Malaria is an infectious disease that needs to be addressed using innovative approaches to counteract spread of drug resistance and to establish or optimize vaccination strategies. With our approach, we aim for a dual action with drug- and 'vaccine-like' activity against malaria. By inhibiting entry of malaria parasites into host red blood cells (RBCs) – using polymer vesicle-based (polymersome) nanomimics of RBC membranes – the life cycle of the parasite is interrupted and the exposed parasites are accessible to the host immune system. Here, we describe how host cell-sized RBC membrane mimics, formed with the same block copolymers as nanomimics, also bind the corresponding malaria parasite ligand and whole malaria parasites, similar to nanomimics. This was demonstrated using fluorescence imaging techniques and confirms the suitability of giant polymersomes (GUVs) as simple mimics for RBC membranes.

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Keywords: GIANT POLYMERSOMES; GUV; MALARIA; MEMBRANE MIMICS; PLASMODIUM

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 80 CH-4056, Switzerland; Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Socinstrasse 57 Postfach, CH-4002, Switzerlandl; University of Basel, Petersgraben 2, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland 2: Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 80, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland 3: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Socinstrasse 57 Postfach, CH-4002, Switzerland; University of Basel, Petersgraben 2, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland 4: Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 80, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland. [email protected]

Publication date: April 1, 2016

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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