Targeted nanogels: a versatile platform for drug delivery to tumors.
ABSTRACT: Although nanoparticle-based drug delivery formulations can improve the effectiveness and safety of certain anticancer drugs, many drugs, due to their chemical composition, are unsuitable for nanoparticle loading. Here, we describe a targeted nanogel drug delivery platform that can (i) encapsulate a wide range of drug chemotypes, including biological, small molecule, and cytotoxic agents; (ii) display targeting ligands and polymeric coatings on the surface; (iii) enhance drug retention within the nanogel core after photo-cross-linking; and (iv) retain therapeutic activity after lyophilization allowing for long-term storage. For therapeutic studies, we used integrin ?v?3-targeted lipid-coated nanogels with cross-linked human serum albumin in the core for carrying therapeutic cargoes. These particles exhibited potent activity in tumor cell viability assays with drugs of distinct chemotype, including paclitaxel, docetaxel, bortezomib, 17-AAG, sorafenib, sunitinib, bosutinib, and dasatinib. Treatment of orthotopic breast and pancreas tumors in mice with taxane-loaded nanogels produced a 15-fold improvement in antitumor activity relative to Abraxane by blocking both primary tumor growth and spontaneous metastasis. With a modifiable surface and core, the lipid-coated nanogel represents a platform technology that can be easily adapted for specific drug delivery applications to treat a wide range of malignant diseases.
Project description:Hydrophilic nanosized particles consisting of the cross-linked cationic polymer network (Nanogels) are suggested as a drug delivery system for nucleoside analog 5'-triphosphates, an active form of cytotoxic anticancer drugs. Preparation, properties, and cellular effects of several polyplex Nanogel formulations with the 5'-triphosphate of cytotoxic 5-fluoroadenine arabinoside (fludarabine) (FATP) were examined and discussed here. The polyplexes have formed spontaneously by mixing solutions of FATP and Nanogels because of ionic interactions between protonated polyethylenimine (PEI) chains in Nanogel network with polyphosphate groups of the drug. Subsequent compaction of the flexible Nanogel network has resulted in an encapsulation of the FATP/PEI complex in a dense core surrounded by hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) envelope. This structure has provided a sustained release of the drug, as well as an efficient protection of FATP against enzymatic degradation. The drug loading could reach up to 33% by weight of the drug-Nanogel formulation. In vitro 35% of loaded drug has released from Nanogel formulations during the first 24 h, and a slower additional release was observed during the next 2 days. Nanogels have protected 90% of the encapsulated FATP from enzymatic dephosphorylation during the first 60 min of incubation in vitro. The drug-Nanogel formulation compared to the drug has demonstrated a significantly enhanced cytotoxicity in cultured cancer cells. Cancer cell-targeting molecules, such as folate, could be easily attached to Nanogels and this modification has resulted in a strong 10-fold increase of the carrier's internalization in human breast carcinoma MCF-7 cells. Moreover, transcellular transport of the folate-Nanogel polyplexes was found to be 4 times more effective compared to the drug alone using Caco-2 cell monolayers as an in vitro intestinal model. The data demonstrate that this carrier-based approach to delivery of cytotoxic drugs may enhance tumor specificity and significantly reduce side effects related to systemic toxicity usually observed during cancer chemotherapy.
Project description:PURPOSE:The aim of the study is to synthesize and characterize nanogel carriers composed of amphiphilic polymers and cationic polyethylenimine for encapsulation and delivery of cytotoxic nucleoside analogs 5'-triphosphates (NTPs) into cancer cells. METHODS:Nanogels were synthesized by a novel micellar approach and compared with carriers prepared by the emulsification/evaporation method. Complexes of nanogels with NTP were prepared; particle size and in vitro drug release were characterized. Resistance of the nanogel-encapsulated NTP to enzymatic hydrolysis was analyzed by ion-pair high-performance liquid chromatography. Binding to isolated cellular membranes, cellular accumulation and cytotoxicity were compared using breast carcinoma cell lines CL-66, MCF-7, and MDA-MB-231. In vivo biodistribution of the 3H-labeled NTP encapsulated in different types of nanogels was evaluated in comparison to the injected NTP alone. RESULTS:Nanogels with a particle size of 100-300 nm in the unloaded form and less than 140 nm in the NTP-loaded form were prepared. An in vitro release of NTP was >50% during the first 24 h. Nanogel formulations ensured increased NTP drug stability against enzymatic hydrolysis as compared to the drug alone. Pluronic-based nanogels NG(F68), NG(F127), NG(P85), and NGM(P123) demonstrated 2-2.5 times enhanced interaction with cellular membranes and association with various cancer cells compared to NG(PEG). Among them, NG(F68) and NG(F127) exhibited the lowest cytotoxicity. Injection of nanogel-formulated NTP significantly modulated the drug accumulation in different mouse organs. CONCLUSIONS:Nanogels composed of Pluronic F68 and P123 were shown to display certain advanced properties compared to NG(PEG) as a drug delivery system for NTP analogs. Formulations of nucleoside analogs in active NTP form with these nanogels will improve the delivery of these cytotoxic drugs to cancer cells and the therapeutic potential of this anticancer chemotherapy.
Project description:Protein drugs are often loaded on scaffolds with organic coatings to realize a spatiotemporal controlled release. The stability or activity of protein drugs, however, is largely affected by the organic coating, particularly with organic solvents, which can dramatically reduce their delivery efficiency and limit their application scope. In spite of this, little attention has been paid to maintaining the stability of protein drugs in organic coatings, to date. Here, we used catalase as a model protein drug to exploit a kind of chemically cross-linked nanogel that can efficiently encapsulate protein drugs. The polymeric shells of nanogels can maintain the surface hydration shell to endow them with a protein protection ability against organic solvents. Furthermore, the protection efficiency of nanogels is higher when the polymeric shell is more hydrophilic. In addition, nanogels can be dispersed in polylactic acid (PLA) solution and subsequently coated on scaffolds to load catalase with high activity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first use of hydrophilic nanogels as a protection niche to load protein drugs on scaffolds through an organic coating, potentially inspiring researchers to exploit new methods for protein drug loading.
Project description:Chemoresistance is a major obstacle in cancer treatment. Targeted therapies that enhance cancer cell sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents have the potential to increase drug efficacy while reducing toxic effects on untargeted cells. Targeted cancer therapy by RNA interference (RNAi) is a relatively new approach that can be used to reversibly silence genes in vivo by selectively targeting genes such as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which has been shown to increase the sensitivity of cancer cells to taxane chemotherapy. However, delivery represents the main hurdle for the broad development of RNAi therapeutics.We report here the use of core/shell hydrogel nanoparticles (nanogels) functionalized with peptides that specially target the EphA2 receptor to deliver small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting EGFR. Expression of EGFR was determined by immunoblotting, and the effect of decreased EGFR expression on chemosensitization of ovarian cancer cells after siRNA delivery was investigated.Treatment of EphA2 positive Hey cells with siRNA-loaded, peptide-targeted nanogels decreased EGFR expression levels and significantly increased the sensitivity of this cell line to docetaxel (P < 0.05). Nanogel treatment of SK-OV-3 cells, which are negative for EphA2 expression, failed to reduce EGFR levels and did not increase docetaxel sensitivity (P > 0.05).This study suggests that targeted delivery of siRNAs by nanogels may be a promising strategy to increase the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs for the treatment of ovarian cancer. In addition, EphA2 is a viable target for therapeutic delivery, and the siRNAs are effectively protected by the nanogel carrier, overcoming the poor stability and uptake that has hindered clinical advancement of therapeutic siRNAs.
Project description:A surface directly connects the bulk of a material to its surroundings. The ability to dynamically regulate the surface without affecting the bulk of a material holds great potential for new applications. The purpose of this work was to demonstrate that the surface can be dynamically changed using nanoparticles and oligonucleotides (ODNs) in a reversible and reiterative manner. A dual-functional nanogel was synthesized as the model of nanoparticles using miniemulsion polymerization and click chemistry. The nanogel can not only adsorb drugs for sustained drug release but also bind a surface functionalized with complementary ODNs. Importantly, hybridization reaction and ODN degradation can drive reversible and reiterative nanogel binding to the surface for dynamic change, which in principle is unlimited. Moreover, nanogel-mediated dynamic change offers the surface with the drug-releasing function for inhibiting the growth of surrounding cells. Because nanogels can be replaced by any functional nanoparticles with a diverse array of properties, nanoparticle-programmed surface change constitutes a promising platform for various applications such as drug delivery and stent implantation.
Project description:The synthesis of a new nanogel drug carrier system loaded with the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) is presented. Poly(2-oxazoline) (POx) based nanogels from block copolymer micelles were cross-linked and covalently loaded with DOX using pH-sensitive Schiff' base chemistry. DOX loaded POx based nanogels showed a toxicity profile comparable to the free drug, while unloaded drug carriers showed no toxicity. Hemolytic activity and erythrocyte aggregation of the drug delivery system was found to be low and cellular uptake was investigated by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. While the amount of internalized drug was enhanced when incorporated into a nanogel, the release of the drug into the nucleus was delayed. For in vivo investigations the nanogel drug delivery system was combined with a metronomic treatment of DOX. Low doses of free DOX were compared to equivalent DOX loaded nanogels in a xenograft mouse model. Treatment with POx based nanogels revealed a significant tumor growth inhibition and increase in survival time, while pure DOX alone had no effect on tumor progression. The biodistribution was investigated by microscopy of organs of mice and revealed a predominant localization of DOX within tumorous tissue. Thus, the POx based nanogel system revealed a therapeutic efficiency despite the low DOX concentrations and could be a promising strategy to control tumor growth with fewer side effects.
Project description:Many drug-resistant tumors and cancer stem cells (CSC) express elevated levels of CD44 receptor, a cellular glycoprotein binding hyaluronic acid (HA). Here, we report the synthesis of nanogel-drug conjugates based on membranotropic cholesteryl-HA (CHA) for efficient targeting and suppression of drug-resistant tumors. These conjugates significantly increased the bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs with previously reported activity against CSC, such as etoposide, salinomycin, and curcumin. The small nanogel particles (diameter 20-40 nm) with a hydrophobic core and high drug loads (up to 20%) formed after ultrasonication and demonstrated a sustained drug release following the hydrolysis of biodegradable ester linkage. Importantly, CHA-drug nanogels demonstrated 2-7 times higher cytotoxicity in CD44-expressing drug-resistant human breast and pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells compared to that of free drugs and nonmodified HA-drug conjugates. These nanogels were efficiently internalized via CD44 receptor-mediated endocytosis and simultaneous interaction with the cancer cell membrane. Anchoring by cholesterol moieties in the cellular membrane after nanogel unfolding evidently caused more efficient drug accumulation in cancer cells compared to that in nonmodified HA-drug conjugates. CHA-drug nanogels were able to penetrate multicellular cancer spheroids and displayed a higher cytotoxic effect in the system modeling tumor environment than both free drugs and HA-drug conjugates. In conclusion, the proposed design of nanogel-drug conjugates allowed us to significantly enhance drug bioavailability, cancer cell targeting, and the treatment efficacy against drug-resistant cancer cells and multicellular spheroids.
Project description:Polymer nano-sized hydrogels (nanogels) as drug delivery carriers have been investigated over the last few decades. Pullulan, a nontoxic and nonimmunogenic hydrophilic polysaccharide derived from fermentation of black yeast like Aureobasidium pullulans with great biocompatibility and biodegradability, is one of the most attractive carriers for drug delivery systems. In this review, we describe the preparation, characterization, and 'switch-on/off' mechanism of typical pullulan self-assembled nanogels (self-nanogels), and then introduce the development of hybrid hydrogels that are numerous resources applied for regenerative medicine. A major section is used for biomedical applications of different nanogel systems based on modified pullulan, which exert smart stimuli-responses at ambient conditions such as charge, pH, temperature, light, and redox. Pullulan self-nanogels have found increasingly extensive application in protein delivery, tissue engineering, vaccine development, cancer therapy, and biological imaging. Functional groups are incorporated into self-nanogels and contribute to expressing desirable results such as targeting and modified release. Various molecules, especially insoluble or unstable drugs and encapsulated proteins, present improved solubility and bioavailability as well as reduced side effects when incorporated into self-nanogels. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of pullulan self-nanogels will be analyzed accordingly, and the development of pullulan nanogel systems will be reviewed.
Project description:Targeted drug delivery using multifunctional polymeric nanocarriers is a modern approach for cancer therapy. Our purpose was to prepare targeted nanogels for selective delivery of chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin to luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) receptor overexpressing tumor in vivo. Building blocks of such delivery systems consisted of innovative soft block copolymer nanogels with ionic cores serving as a reservoir for cisplatin (loading 35%) and a synthetic analogue of LHRH conjugated to the nanogels via poly(ethylene glycol) spacer. Covalent attachment of (D-Lys6)-LHRH to nanogels was shown to be possible without loss in either the ligand binding affinity or the nanogel drug incorporation ability. LHRH-nanogel accumulation was specific to the LHRH-receptor positive A2780 ovarian cancer cells and not toward LHRH-receptor negative SKOV-3 cells. The LHRH-nanogel cisplatin formulation was more effective and less toxic than equimolar doses of free cisplatin or untargeted nanogels in the treatment of receptor-positive ovarian cancer xenografts in mice. Collectively, the study indicates that LHRH mediated nanogel-cisplatin delivery is a promising formulation strategy for therapy of tumors that express the LHRH receptor.
Project description:Targeting dendritic cells with nanoparticles is an attractive modality for instigating immunity or inducing immunosuppression. An important aspect of successful delivery of antigen and immune modulators to these cells is the efficacy of nanoparticle internalization, which can dictate the strength and robustness of immune responses; optimizing particulate uptake is thus key. We compared the internalization of two nanoparticulate platforms: a vesicular "nanogel" platform with a lipid exterior, and the widely-used solid biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) system. We found that nanogels were more effectively internalized by dendritic cells in vitro, as demonstrated by fluorescent tracer measurements. Additionally, the magnitude of dendritic cell immunosuppression achieved by nanogels loaded with mycophenolic acid, an immunosuppressant, was greater than similarly drug-loaded PLGA. Although both types of particles could mitigate the production of inflammatory cytokines and the up-regulation of stimulatory surface markers, nanogels yielded greater reductions. These in vitro measurements correlated with in vivo efficacy, where immunosuppressive therapy with nanogels extended the survival of lupus-prone NZB/W F1 mice whereas PLGA particles did not. Our results highlight the importance of material on nanoparticle uptake by dendritic cells, which impacts the quality of therapeutic immunosuppression.