Harmatys K, Chen J, Charron DM, MacLaughlin CM & Zheng G
Angewandte Chemie, 2018
DOI: 10.1002/ange.201803535

Biomimetics are reconstructions of natural systems in engineered forms to exploit their structural or functional properties. Current biomimetics for medical applications use a single biomimetic approach to imitate natural structures, which can be insufficient for reconstructing structurally complex natural systems. Multi‐pronged efforts may resolve these complexities. To achieve interesting nanostructure‐driven optical properties, we engineered a dual‐biomimetic system contained within a single nanoagent to recapitulate the efficient light‐harvesting organelles, chlorosomes, which have unique dye assemblies and tunable photonic properties. We synthesized a series of chlorin dyes and stabilized these hydrophobic assemblies inside high‐density lipoprotein, a second biomimetic that also enabled in vivo utility. This system resulted in tunable tumor imaging of intact (photoacoustic) and disrupted (activatable fluorescence) nanostructures. The successful demonstration of this multi‐pronged biomimetic approach opens the door for reconstruction of complex natural systems for biomedical applications.