A key initiating step in atherosclerosis is the accumulation and retention of apolipoprotein B complexing lipoproteins within the artery walls. In this work, we address this exact initiating mechanism of atherosclerosis, which results from the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (oxLDL) using therapeutic nanogels. We present the development of biocompatible polyethylene glycol (PEG) cross-linked nanogels formed from a single simultaneous cross-linking and co-polymerization step in water without the requirement for an organic solvent, high temperature, or shear stress. The nanogel synthesis also incorporates in situ noncovalent electrostatically driven template polymerization around an innate anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) enzyme payload-the release of which is triggered because of matrix metalloproteinase responsive elements instilled in the PEG cross-linker monomer. The results obtained demonstrate the potential of triggered release of the PON-1 enzyme and its efficacy against the production of ox-LDL, and therefore a reduction in macrophage foam cell and reactive oxygen species formation.
- Low-density lipoprotein
- Matrix metalloproteinases