Graphical Abstract

Microbubbles can be biointerfaced by rationally regulating the platelet membrane surfactant activity at the gas-liquid interface. The protein-to-lipid ratios (P : L ratios) of the platelet membranes are reduced to stabilize the platesome microbubbles (PMBs). The activated conformation of αIIbβ3 grants PMBs the ability for molecular ultrasound diagnosis of acute thrombosis.

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Abstract

Biointerfacing nanomaterials with cell membranes has been successful in the functionalization of nanoparticles or nanovesicles, but microbubble functionalization remains challenging due to the unique conformation of the lipid monolayer structure at the gas-liquid interface that provides insufficient surfactant activity. Here, we describe a strategy to rationally regulate the surfactant activity of platelet membrane vesicles by adjusting the ratio of proteins to lipids through fusion with synthetic phospholipids (i.e., liposomes). A “platesome” with the optimized protein-to-lipid ratio can be assembled at the gas-liquid interface in the same manner as pulmonary surfactants to stabilize a microsized gas bubble. Platesome microbubbles (PMBs) inherited 61.4 % of the platelet membrane vesicle proteins and maintained the active conformation of integrin αIIbβ3 without the talin 1 for fibrin binding. We demonstrated that the PMBs had good stability, long circulation, and superior functionality both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, by molecular ultrasound imaging, the PMBs provide up to 11.8 dB of ultrasound signal-to-noise ratio enhancement for discriminating between acute and chronic thrombi. This surface tension regulating strategy may provide a paradigm for biointerfacing microbubbles with cell membranes, offering a potential new approach for the construction of molecular ultrasound contrast agents for the diagnosis of different diseases.

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