Simultaneous determination of polyethylene glycol-conjugated liposome components by using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with UV and evaporative light scattering detection.
ABSTRACT: Liposomes incorporating polyethylene glycol (PEG)-conjugated lipids (PEGylated liposomes) have attracted attention as drug delivery carriers because they show good in vivo stability. The lipid component of PEGylated liposomal formulations needs to be quantified for quality control. In this study, a simple reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method with an evaporative light-scattering detector (ELSD) was established for simultaneous determination of hydrogenated soy phosphatidylcholine, cholesterol, PEG-conjugated lipid, and hydrolysis products of phospholipid in PEGylated liposomal formulations. These lipids were separated using a C18 column with a gradient mobile phase consisting of ammonium acetate buffer and ammonium acetate in methanol at a flow rate of 1.0 ml/min. This method provided sufficient repeatability, linearity, and recovery rate for all lipids. However, the linearity and recovery rates of cholesterol achieved using a ultraviolet (UV) detector were better than those achieved using an ELSD. This validated method can be applied to assess the composition change during the preparation process of liposomes and to quantify lipid components and hydrolysis products contained in a commercially available liposomal formulation DOXIL®. Taken together, this reversed-phase HPLC-UV/ELSD method may be useful for the rapid or routine analysis of liposomal lipid components in process development and quality control.
Project description:Standardized poly(ethylene glycol)-modified (PEGylated) liposomes, which have been widely used in research as well as in pre-clinical and clinical studies, are typically constructed using PEG with a molecular weight of 2000 Da (PEG(2000)). Targeting ligands are also generally conjugated using various functionalized PEG(2000)). However, although standardized protocols have routinely used PEG(2000), it is not because this molecular weight PEG has been optimized to enhance tumor uptake of nanoparticles. Herein, we investigated the effect of various PEG lipid pairings--that is, PEG lipids for targeting-ligand conjugation and PEG lipids for achieving 'stealth' function--on in vitro cancer cell- and in vivo tumor-targeting efficacy. A class of high-affinity peptides (aptides) specific to extra domain B of fibronectin (APT(EDB)) was used as a representative model for a cancer-targeting ligand. We synthesized a set of aptide-conjugated PEGylated phospholipids (APT(EDB)?PEG(2000))?DSPE and APT(EDB)?PEG(2000))?DSPE) and then paired them with methoxy-capped PEGylated phospholipids with diverse molecular weights (PEG(2000)), PEG(2000)), PEG(2000)), and PEG(2000))) to construct various aptide-conjugated PEGylated liposomes. The liposomes with APT(EDB)?PEG(2000))/PEG(2000)) and APT(EDB)?PEG(2000))/PEG(2000)) pairings had the highest uptake in EDB-positive cancer cells. Furthermore, in a U87MG xenograft model, APT(EDB)?PEG(2000))/PEG(2000)) liposomes retarded tumor growth to the greatest extent, followed closely by APT(EDB)?PEG(2000))/PEG(2000)) liposomes. Among the PEGylated liposomes tested, pairs in which the methoxy-capped PEG length was about half that of the targeting ligand-displaying PEG exhibited the best performance, suggesting that PEG pairing is a key consideration in the design of drug-delivery vehicles.
Project description:Accumulation of intravenously injected cytotoxic liposomes in the skin induces serious toxicity. We used single time point and longitudinal intravital microscopy to understand skin accumulation dynamics of non-PEGylated and PEGylated liposomes after systemic injection into mice. Non-PEGylated egg phosphatidylcholine (PC) liposomes showed short circulation half-life (1.3 h) and immediate aggregation in the blood, with some aggregates lodging in skin microvasculature soon after the injection. At 24 h, and more prominently at 48 h postinjection, liposomes appeared in dermal and subdermal cells. PEGylated egg PC liposomes showed long circulation half-life (22 h) and no aggregation in the blood. PEGylated liposomes started to accumulate in the skin microvasculature as soon as 5 min after the injection. Within 3 h postinjection, PEGylated liposomes accumulated in extravascular cells in the dermis and subdermis. Liposomes were present in the skin for at least 7 days postinjection. A regulatory approved PEGylated liposomal doxorubicin (LipoDox) and empty liposomes of the same composition as LipoDox showed similar skin distribution as PEGylated egg PC liposomes, suggesting that this phenomenon is relevant to liposomes of different lipid composition. Decorating liposomes with shorter PEGs (350 or 700) in addition to PEG 2000 did not decrease the deposition. Outside the capillaries, liposomes partially colocalized with CD45-, F4/80+ cells. The accumulation of liposomes was not due to prior neutrophil/platelet binding and transport across endothelium. Moreover, our studies have excluded a role of complement in the skin accumulation of liposomes. Further understanding of mechanisms of this important phenomenon can improve the safety of liposomal nanocarriers.
Project description:Doxorubicin-loaded PEGylated liposomes (commercially available as DOXIL or Lipodox) were surface functionalized with a cell-penetrating peptide, octa-arginine (R8). For this purpose, R8-peptide was conjugated to the polyethylene glycol-dioleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (PEG-DOPE) amphiphilic co-polymer. The resultant R8-PEG-PE conjugate was introduced into the lipid bilayer of liposomes at 2 mol% of total lipid amount via spontaneous micelle-transfer technique. The liposomal modification did not alter the particle size distribution, as measured by Particle Size Analyzer and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). However, surface-associated cationic peptide increased zeta potential of the modified liposomes. R8-functionalized liposomes (R8-Dox-L) markedly increased the intracellular and intratumoral delivery of doxorubicin as measured by flow cytometry and visualizing by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) compared to unmodified Doxorubicin-loaded PEGylated liposomes (Dox-L). R8-Dox-L delivered loaded Doxorubicin to the nucleus, being released from the endosomes at higher efficiency compared to unmodified liposomes, which had marked entrapment in the endosomes at tested time point of 1h. The significantly higher accumulation of loaded drug to its site of action for R8-Dox-L resulted in improved cytotoxic activity in vitro (cell viability of 58.5 ± 7% for R8-Dox-L compared to 90.6 ± 2% for Dox-L at Dox dose of 50 ?g/mL for 4h followed by 24h incubation) and enhanced suppression of tumor growth (348 ± 53 mm(3) for R8-Dox-L, compared to 504 ± 54 mm(3) for Dox-L treatment) in vivo compared to Dox-L. R8-modification has the potential for broadening the therapeutic window of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin treatment, which could lead to lower non-specific toxicity.
Project description:Quantum dots (QDs) are attracting intense interest as fluorescence labeling agents for biomedical imaging because biocompatible coatings and relatively nontoxic rare earth metal QDs have emerged as possible options. QD photoemissions are bright, of narrow wavelength range, and very stable. We sought to encapsulate QDs within targeted PEGylated liposomes to reduce their propensity for liver uptake and to amplify the already strong QD emission signal. A novel lipid-QD conjugate initialized a process by which lipids in solution coalesced around the QDs. The liposomal structure was confirmed with size measurements, SEM, and IR spectroscopy. PEGylated QD liposomes injected into a xenograft tumor model largely cleared from the body within 24 h. Residual liver labeling was low. Targeted QD liposomes exhibited robust tumor labeling compared with controls. This study highlights the potential of these near IR emitting QD liposomes for preclinical/clinical applications.
Project description:For four decades, liposomes composed of both naturally occurring and synthetic lipids have been investigated as delivery vehicles for low molecular weight and macromolecular drugs. These studies paved the way for the clinical and commercial success of a number of liposomal drugs, each of which required a tailored formulation; one liposome size does not fit all drugs! Instead, the physicochemical properties of the liposome must be matched to the pharmacology of the drug. An extensive biophysical literature demonstrates that varying lipid composition can influence the size, membrane stability, in vivo interactions, and drug release properties of a liposome. In this review we focus on recently described synthetic lipid headgroups, linkers and hydrophobic domains that can provide control over the intermolecular forces, phase preference, and macroscopic behavior of liposomes. These synthetic lipids further our understanding of lipid biophysics, promote targeted drug delivery and improve liposome stability. We further highlight the immune reactivity of novel synthetic headgroups as a key design consideration. For instance it was originally thought that synthetic PEGylated lipids were immunologically inert; however, it's been observed that under certain conditions PEGylated lipids induce humoral immunity. Such immune activation may be a limitation to the use of other engineered lipid headgroups for drug delivery. In addition to the potential immunogenicity of engineered lipids, future investigations on liposome drugs in vivo should pay particular attention to the location and dynamics of payload release.
Project description:Liposomes are well-established systems for drug delivery and biosensing applications. The design of a liposomal carrier requires careful choice of lipid composition and formulation method. These determine many vesicle properties including lamellarity, which can have a strong effect on both encapsulation efficiency and the efflux rate of encapsulated active compounds. Despite this, a comprehensive study on how the lipid composition and formulation method affect vesicle lamellarity is still lacking. Here, we combine small-angle neutron scattering and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy to study the effect of three different well-established formulation methods followed by extrusion through 100 nm polycarbonate membranes on the resulting vesicle membrane structure. Specifically, we examine vesicles formulated from the commonly used phospholipids 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl- sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), 1,2-dipalmitoyl- sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) and 1,2-dioleoyl- sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) via film hydration followed by (i) agitation on a shaker or (ii) freeze-thawing, or (iii) the reverse-phase evaporation vesicle method. After extrusion, up to half of the total lipid content is still assembled into multilamellar structures. However, we achieved unilamellar vesicle populations when as little as 0.1 mol % PEG-modified lipid was included in the vesicle formulation. Interestingly, DPPC with 5 mol % PEGylated lipid produces a combination of cylindrical micelles and vesicles. In conclusion, our results provide important insights into the effect of the formulation method and lipid composition on producing liposomes with a defined membrane structure.
Project description:Liposomes are established drug carriers that are employed to transport and deliver hydrophilic drugs in the body. To minimize unspecific cellular uptake, nanocarriers are commonly modified with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), which is known to minimize unspecific protein adsorption. However, to date, it has not been studied whether this is an intrinsic and specific property of PEG or if it can be transferred to hyperbranched polyglycerol (hbPG) as well. Additionally, it remains unclear if the reduction of unspecific cell uptake is independent of the "basic" carrier at which a surface functionalization with polymers is usually applied. Therefore, we studied the protein corona of differently functionalized liposomes (unfunctionalized vs PEG or hbPG-functionalized) using PEGylated and PGylated lipids. Their cellular uptake in macrophages was compared. For all three liposomal samples, rather similar protein corona compositions were found, and also-more importantly-the total amount of proteins adsorbed was very low compared to other nanoparticles. Interestingly, the cellular uptake was then significantly changed by the surface functionalization itself, despite the adsorption of a small amount of proteins: although the PEGylation of liposomes resulted in the abovementioned decreased cell uptake, functionalization with hbPG lead to enhanced macrophage interaction-both in the media with and without proteins. In comparison to other nanocarrier systems, this seems to be a liposome-specific effect related to the low amount of adsorbed proteins.
Project description:Disulfiram (DS), an anti-alcoholism medicine, shows strong anti-cancer activity in the laboratory, but the application in clinics for anti-cancer therapy has been limited by its prompt metabolism. Conventional liposomes have shown limited ability to protect DS. Therefore, the aim of this study is to develop PEGylated liposomes of DS for enhanced bio-stability and prolonged circulation. PEGylated liposomes were prepared using ethanol-based proliposome methods. Various ratios of phospholipids, namely: hydrogenated soya phosphatidylcholine (HSPC) or dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and N-(Carbonyl-methoxypolyethylenglycol-2000)-1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DSPE-PEG2000) with cholesterol were used. DS was dissolved in the alcoholic solution in different lipid mol% ratios. The size of the resulting multilamellar liposomes was reduced by high-pressure homogenization. Liposomal formulations were characterized by size analysis, zeta potential, drug loading efficiency and stability in horse serum. Small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs; nanoliposomes) were generated with a size of approximately 80 to 120 nm with a polydispersity index (PDI) in the range of 0.1 to 0.3. Zeta potential values of all vesicles were negative, and the negative surface charge intensity tended to increase by PEGylation. PEGylated liposomes had a smaller size (80-90 nm) and a significantly lower PDI. All liposomes showed similar loading efficiencies regardless of lipid type (HSPC or DPPC) or PEGylations. PEGylated liposomes provided the highest drug biostability amongst all formulations in horse serum. PEGylated DPPC liposomes had t1/2 =77.3 ± 9.6 min compared to 9.7 ± 2.3 min for free DS. In vitro cytotoxicity on wild type and resistant colorectal cancer cell lines was evaluated by MTT assay. All liposomal formulations of DS were cytotoxic to both the wild type and resistant colorectal cancer cell lines and were able to reverse chemoresistance at low nanomolar concentrations. In conclusion, PEGylated liposomes have a greater potential to be used as an anticancer carrier for disulfiram.
Project description:A2780 ovarian cancer cells and a cisplatin resistant derivate of A2780 cells, obtained from ECACC, UK, No. 93112519 [A2780] and No. 93112517 [A2780 cis] were seeded out in T-75 flasks at a density of 2x106 for A2780sens and 3x106 for A2780cis cells in 15 ml of medium and preincubated overnight. Medium was removed and 15 ml fresh medium (37°C) with different concentrations of cisplatin, liposomal cisplatin or empty liposomes were added and incubated for 72 h at 37°C in a 5% CO2 incubator. In case of A2780sens cells, 1.72 µM cisplatin (IC50 concentration) and in case of A2780cis cells 8.94 µM cisplatin (IC50 concentration) were added. Liposomal formulations contained equal cisplatin concentrations. Empty liposomes were added in the same concentration as the liposomal cisplatin, to analyze the impact of liposomal lipids (A2780sens: 0.80µmol lipid, A2780cis: 4.15 µmol lipid). After incubation, medium was removed and cells were washed thrice with 10 ml PBS. 1 ml RLT-buffer was added and cells lysates were stored at -80°C until RNA extraction.
Project description:Antibodies that specifically bind polyethylene glycol (PEG), i.e. anti-PEG antibodies (APA), are associated with reduced efficacy and increased risk of serious adverse events for several PEGylated therapeutics. Here, we explored the concept of using free PEG molecules to saturate circulating APA. Surprisingly, we found that 40?kDa free PEG effectively restored the prolonged circulation of PEGylated liposomes in the presence of high titers of pre-existing APA for at least 48?h in mice. In contrast, lower molecular weight free PEG (?10?kDa) failed to restore circulation beyond a few hours. These in vivo results were consistent with estimates from a minimal physiologically based pharmacokinetic model. Importantly, the infusion of free PEG appeared to be safe in mice previously sensitized by injection of PEGylated liposomes, and free PEG did not elicit excess APA production even in mice with pre-existing adaptive immunity against PEG. Our results support further investigation of high molecular weight free PEG as a potential method to control and overcome high titers of APA, restoring the prolonged circulation of PEGylated liposomes and possibly other PEGylated therapeutics.