TITLE: Biodegradable Drug-Delivery Peptide Nanocapsules

Authors: Emily M. Wessel, John M. Tomich, Richard B. Todd

Branched amphiphilic peptide capsules (BAPCs) are an efficient transport system that can deliver nucleic acids, small proteins, and solutes. The ability of BAPCs to break down is essential to their adoption as a delivery vehicle for human and agricultural applications. Until now, however, BAPCs were shown to be inert to mammalian degradation systems. Here, we demonstrate, using BAPCs encapsulating the toxic urea analogue thiourea, that the common soil fungus Aspergillus nidulans can degrade BAPCs. We provide evidence that this degradation is extracellular through the action of secreted proteases. Our data indicate that BAPCs are likely biodegradable in the environment.