Inhibiting host-pathogen interactions using membrane-based nanostructures

Daniel A. Bricarello, Mira A. Patel, Atul N. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Virulent strains of bacteria and viruses recognize host cells by their plasma membrane receptors and often exploit the native translocation machinery to invade the cell. A promising therapeutic concept for early interruption of pathogen infection is to subvert this pathogenic trickery using exogenously introduced decoys that present high-affinity mimics of cellular receptors. This review highlights emerging applications of molecularly engineered lipid-bilayer-based nanostructures, namely (i) functionalized liposomes, (ii) supported colloidal bilayers or protocells and (iii) reconstituted lipoproteins, which display functional cellular receptors in optimized conformational and aggregative states. These decoys outcompete host cell receptors by preferentially binding to and neutralizing virulence factors of both bacteria and viruses, thereby promising a new approach to antipathogenic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Antipathogenic decoys
  • Antiviral
  • Binding affinity
  • Host-pathogen interaction
  • Membrane nanostructures
  • Membrane receptors
  • Reconstituted (synthetic) lipoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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