All Aposense® compounds incorporate the Interfacial NanoSwitch™, a patented nanotechnology mechanism.
This design enables Aposense molecules to sense and respond to a set of changes that are specific to apoptotic cells (the "cellular fingerprints of apoptosis"). These changes occur in the early stages of the apoptotic process, while membrane integrity is still maintained, and include:
- Irreversible acidification of the external membrane interface due to exposure of phosphatidylserine
- Irreversible alterations in the electric potential map of the cell membrane
- Activation of the membrane phospholipid scramblase system
- Irreversible changes in electric charge of cytoplasmic proteins
This set of alterations is unique to cells undergoing a death process by apoptosis. The Interfacial NanoSwitch™ is universal in its recognition of the apoptosis process, allowing the Aposense compound to target any kind of cell undergoing apoptosis, regardless of cell type or apoptotic trigger.
The Selective Detective
In the non-activated ("off") mode of the Interfacial NanoSwitch™, the Aposense® compounds are highly soluble and distribute freely through the body, while avoiding interaction with healthy, viable cells.
The Interfacial NanoSwitch™ is activated upon approaching and sensing the unique apoptotic "fingerprints" of the membrane of a cell in apoptosis. Once activated, the Interfacial NanoSwitch™ triggers a conformational change of the molecule, allowing it to cross the cell membrane and accumulate in the cytoplasm.
The ability of the Aposense® compounds to selectively detect and accumulate within apoptotic cells opens new horizons in diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for multiple disease areas, such as cancer, cardiology and neurology.
Aposense is harnessing this targeting technology for routine clinical care through two major programs: