Cavitation Enhancing Nanodroplets Mediate Efficient DNA Fragmentation in a Bench Top Ultrasonic Water Bath.
ABSTRACT: A perfluorocarbon nanodroplet formulation is shown to be an effective cavitation enhancement agent, enabling rapid and consistent fragmentation of genomic DNA in a standard ultrasonic water bath. This nanodroplet-enhanced method produces genomic DNA libraries and next-generation sequencing results indistinguishable from DNA samples fragmented in dedicated commercial acoustic sonication equipment, and with higher throughput. This technique thus enables widespread access to fast bench-top genomic DNA fragmentation.
Project description:Systemic delivery of conventional chemotherapies can cause negative systemic toxicity, including reduced immunity and damage to organs such as the heart and kidneys-limiting the maximum dose that can be administered. Targeted therapies appear to address this problem by having a specific target while mitigating off-target effects. Biocompatible perfluorocarbon-based nanodroplet emulsions encapsulated by a phospholipid shell are in development for delivery of molecular compounds and hold promise as vehicles for targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics to tumors. When ultrasound is applied, perfluorocarbon will undergo a phase change-ultimately inducing transient perforation of the cell membrane when in close proximity, which is more commonly known as "sonoporation." Sonoporation allows enhanced intracellular delivery of molecular compounds and will reseal to encapsulate the molecular compound intracellularly. In this study, we investigated delivery of thymoquinone (TQ), a natural hydrophobic phytochemical compound with bioactivity in cancer cells. In addition, we conjugated a G-quadruplex aptamer, 'AS1411', to TQ-loaded nanodroplets and explored their effects on multiple human cancer cell lines. AS1411 binds nucleolin, which is over-expressed on the surface of cancer cells, and in addition to its tumor-targeting properties AS1411 has also been shown to induce anti-cancer effects. Thymoquinone was loaded onto AS1411-conjugated nanodroplet emulsion to assess activity against cancer cells. Confocal microscopy indicated uptake of AS1411-conjugated nanodroplets by cancer cells. Furthermore, AS1411-conjugated nanoemulsions loaded with TQ significantly enhanced cytotoxicity in cancer cells compared to free compound. These results demonstrate that AS1411 can be conjugated onto nanodroplet emulsions for targeted delivery to human cancer cells. This novel formulation offers significant potential for targeted delivery of hydrophobic chemotherapeutics to tumors for cancer treatment.
Project description:We present enhanced cavitation erosion of blood clots exposed to low-boiling-point (-2°C) perfluorocarbon phase-change nanodroplets and pulsed ultrasound, as well as microbubbles with the same formulation under the same conditions. Given prior success with microbubbles as a sonothrombolysis agent, we considered that perfluorocarbon phase-change nanodroplets could enhance clot disruption further beyond that achieved with microbubbles. It has been hypothesized that owing to their small size and ability to penetrate into a clot, nanodroplets could enhance cavitation inside a blood clot and increase sonothrombolysis efficacy. The thrombolytic effects of lipid-shell-decafluorobutane nanodroplets were evaluated and compared with those of microbubbles with the same formulation, in an aged bovine blood clot flow model. Seven different pulsing schemes, with an acoustic intensity (I<sub>SPTA</sub>) range of 0.021-34.8 W/cm<sup>2</sup> were applied in three different therapy scenarios: ultrasound only, ultrasound with microbubbles and ultrasound with nanodroplets (n = 5). Data indicated that pulsing schemes with 0.35 W/cm<sup>2</sup> and 5.22 W/cm<sup>2</sup> produced a significant difference (p < 0.05) in nanodroplet sonothrombolysis performance compared with compositionally identical microbubbles. With these excitation conditions, nanodroplet-mediated treatment achieved a 140% average thrombolysis rate over the microbubble-mediated case. We observed distinctive internal erosion in the middle of bovine clot samples from nanodroplet-mediated ultrasound, whereas the microbubble-mediated case generated surface erosion. This erosion pattern was supported by ultrasound imaging during sonothrombolysis, which revealed that nanodroplets generated cavitation clouds throughout a clot, whereas microbubble cavitation formed larger cavitation clouds only outside a clot sample.
Project description:Phase-transition perfluorocarbon (PFC) nanodroplets have been developed for on-demand drug delivery carriers with external triggers such as ultrasound or laser irradiation techniques. Although various perfluorocarbons, including perfluoropentane (C<sub>5</sub>F<sub>12</sub>) and perfluorohexane (C<sub>6</sub>F<sub>14</sub>), have been investigated for their theranostic use, comparison of the phase-transition efficiency, the drug delivery efficacy by light activation, and physical properties of the PFC nanodroplets have not been reported. We have synthesized gold nanorod-coated doxorubicin-encapsulated perfluorocarbon nanodroplets using perfluoropentane and perfluorohexane as light-activated on-demand drug delivery carriers, called PF5 and PF6, respectively. When gold nanorods on the perfluorocarbon nanodroplets resonate with a laser wavelength, plasmonic heat generated on the gold nanorods vaporizes the nanodroplets to gas bubbles (phase-transition), and releases the encapsulated drug from the nanodroplet core. Overall, the nanodroplet size, drug encapsulation efficiency, number density, and cytotoxicity were similar between PF5 and PF6. However, the long-term stability against passive phase-transition or coalescence in physiological conditions and the phase-transition efficiency were different from each other. PF6 was better in long-term stability but showed lower phase-transition than PF5. The lower phase-transition of PF6 might have led to lower drug delivery efficiency compared to PF5. This is probably because PF6 has higher temperature thresholds required for phase-transition due to its higher boiling point. The study demonstrated feasibility of the light-activated nanodroplets for on-demand targeted nanotherapy, which suppresses the development of angiogenesis.
Project description:One of the most sensitive, time-consuming, and variable steps of chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) is chromatin sonication. Traditionally, this process can take hours to properly sonicate enough chromatin for multiple ChIP assays. Further, the length of sheared DNA is often inconsistent. In order to faithfully measure chemical and structural changes at the chromatin level, sonication needs to be reliable. Thus, chromatin fragmentation by sonication represents a significant bottleneck to downstream quantitative analysis. To improve the consistency and efficiency of chromatin sonication, we developed and tested a cavitation enhancing reagent based on sonically active nanodroplets. Here, we show that nanodroplets increase sonication efficiency by 16-fold and provide more consistent levels of chromatin fragmentation. Using the previously characterized chromatin in vivo assay (CiA) platform, we generated two distinct chromatin states in order to test nanodroplet-assisted sonication sensitivity in measuring post-translational chromatin marks. By comparing euchromatin to chemically induced heterochromatin at the same CiA:Oct4 locus, we quantitatively measure the capability of our new sonication technique to resolve differences in chromatin structure. We confirm that nanodroplet-assisted sonication results are indistinguishable from those of samples processed with traditional sonication in downstream applications. While the processing time for each sample was reduced from 38.4 to 2.3 min, DNA fragment distribution sizes were significantly more consistent with a coefficient of variation 2.7 times lower for samples sonicated in the presence of nanodroplets. In conclusion, sonication utilizing the nanodroplet cavitation enhancement reagent drastically reduces the amount of processing time and provides consistently fragmented chromatin of high quality for downstream applications.
Project description:The sensitivity of fluorescence imaging is limited by the high optical scattering of tissue. One approach to improve sensitivity to small signals is to use a contrast agent with a signal that can be externally modulated. In this work, we present a new phase-changing perfluorocarbon nanodroplet contrast agent loaded with DiR dye. The nanodroplets undergo a liquid-to-gas phase transition when exposed to an externally applied laser pulse. This results in the unquenching of the encapsulated dye, thus increasing the fluorescent signal, a phenomenon that can be characterized by an ON/OFF ratio between the fluorescence of activated and nonactivated nanodroplets, respectively. We investigate and optimize the quenching/unquenching of DiR upon nanodroplets' vaporization in suspension, tissue-mimicking phantoms and a subcutaneous injection mouse model. We also demonstrate that the vaporized nanodroplets produce ultrasound contrast, enabling multimodal imaging. This work shows that these nanodroplets could be applied to imaging applications where high sensitivity is required.
Project description:Enzymes are molecules that catalyze reactions critical to life. These catalysts are often studied in bulk water, where the influence of water volume on reactivity is neglected. Here, we demonstrate rate enhancement of up to two orders of magnitude for enzymes trapped in submicrometer water nanodroplets suspended in 1,2-dichloroethane. When single nanodroplets irreversibly adsorb onto an ultramicroelectrode surface, enzymatic activity is apparent in the amperometric current-time trace if the ultramicroelectrode generates the enzyme cofactor. Nanodroplet volume is easily accessible by integrating the current-time response and using Faraday's Law. The single nanodroplet technique allows us to plot the enzyme's activity as a function of nanodroplet size, revealing a strong inverse relationship. Finite element simulations confirm our experimental results and offer insights into parameters influencing single nanodroplet enzymology. These results provide a framework to profoundly influence the understanding of chemical reactivity at the nanoscale.
Project description:Laser-activated perfluorocarbon nanodroplets are an emerging class of phase change, dual-contrast agents that can be utilized in ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging. Through the ability to differentiate subpopulations of nanodroplets via laser activation at different wavelengths of near-infrared light, optically-triggered color-coded perfluorocarbon nanodroplets present themselves as an attractive tool for multiplexed ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging. In particular, laser-activated droplets can be used to provide quantitative spatiotemporal information regarding distinct biological targets, allowing for their potential use in a wide range of diagnos tic and therapeutic applications. In the work presented, laser-activated color-coded perfluorocarbon nanodroplets are synthesized to selectively respond to laser irradiation at corresponding wavelengths. The dynamic ultrasound and photoacoustic signals produced by laser-activated perfluorocarbon nanodroplets are evaluated in situ prior to implementation in a murine model. In vivo, these particles are used to distinguish unique particle trafficking mechanisms and are shown to provide ultrasound and photoacoustic contrast for up to 72 hours within lymphatics. Overall, the conducted studies show that laser-activated color-coded perfluorocarbon nanodroplets are a promising agent for multiplexed ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging.
Project description:Recently, perfluorocarbon (PFC) nanodroplets were introduced as contrast agents for imaging and image-guided therapy. For example, in sonography, high-intensity ultrasound pulses were used to phase-transition liquid perfluorocarbon to produce gas microbubbles. More recently, perfluorocarbon nanodroplets with encapsulated gold nanorods were used as dual ultrasound/photoacoustic contrast agents. To expedite clinical translation, we synthesized and characterized ICG-loaded perfluorocarbon nanodroplets, i.e., constructs comprising biocompatible, nontoxic and biologically safe materials. We then demonstrated enhanced photoacoustic contrast through optically triggered phase transition of PFC nanodroplets and ultrasound contrast from the resulting PFC bubbles. We assessed the quality enhancement of photoacoustic and ultrasound images through analysis of contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio. We further investigated the changes in image contrast due to increased ambient temperature. Our studies suggest that ICG-loaded perfluorocarbon nanodroplets may become a valuable tool for various imaging modalities, and have promising therapeutic applications.
Project description:Nanoscale perfluorocarbon (PFC) droplets have enormous potential as clinical theranostic agents. They are biocompatible and are currently used <i>in vivo</i> as contrast agents for a variety of medical imaging modalities, including ultrasound, computed tomography, photoacoustic and <sup>19</sup>F-magnetic resonance imaging. PFC nanodroplets can also carry molecular and nanoparticulate drugs and be activated <i>in situ</i> by ultrasound or light for targeted therapy. Recently, there has been renewed interest in using PFC nanodroplets for hypoxic tumor reoxygenation towards radiosensitization based on the high oxygen solubility of PFCs. Previous studies showed that tumor oxygenation using PFC agents only occurs in combination with enhanced oxygen breathing. However, recent studies suggest that PFC agents that accumulate in solid tumors can contribute to radiosensitization, presumably due to tumor reoxygenation without enhanced oxygen breathing. In this study, we quantify the impact of oxygenation due to PFC nanodroplet accumulation in tumors alone in comparison with other reoxygenation methodologies, in particular, carbogen breathing. <b>Methods:</b> Lipid-stabilized, PFC (i.e., perfluorooctyl bromide, CF<sub>3</sub>(CF<sub>2</sub>)<sub>7</sub>Br, PFOB) nanoscale droplets were synthesized and evaluated in xenograft prostate (DU145) tumors in male mice. Biodistribution assessment of the nanodroplets was achieved using a fluorescent lipophilic indocarbocyanine dye label (i.e., DiI dye) on the lipid shell in combination with fluorescence imaging in mice (n?3 per group). Hypoxia reduction in tumors was measured using PET imaging and a known hypoxia radiotracer, [<sup>18</sup>F]FAZA (n? 3 per group). <b>Results:</b> Lipid-stabilized nanoscale PFOB emulsions (mean diameter of ~250 nm), accumulated in the xenograft prostate tumors in mice 24 hours post-injection. <i>In vivo</i> PET imaging with [<sup>18</sup>F]FAZA showed that the accumulation of the PFOB nanodroplets in the tumor tissues alone significantly reduced tumor hypoxia, without enhanced oxygen (i.e., carbogen) breathing. This reoxygenation effect was found to be comparable with carbogen breathing alone. <b>Conclusion:</b> Accumulation of nanoscale PFOB agents in solid tumors alone successfully reoxygenated hypoxic tumors to levels comparable with carbogen breathing alone, an established tumor oxygenation method. This study confirms that PFC agents can be used to reoxygenate hypoxic tumors in addition to their current applications as multifunctional theranostic agents.
Project description:Dynamics of the first few nanometers of water at the interface are encountered in a wide range of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena. A simple but critical question is whether interfacial forces at these nanoscale dimensions affect an externally induced movement of a water droplet on a surface. At the bulk-scale water droplets spread on a hydrophilic surface and slip on a nonwetting, hydrophobic surface. Here we report the experimental description of the electron beam-induced dynamics of nanoscale water droplets by direct imaging the translocation of 10- to 80-nm-diameter water nanodroplets by transmission electron microscopy. These nanodroplets move on a hydrophilic surface not by a smooth flow but by a series of stick-slip steps. We observe that each step is preceded by a unique characteristic deformation of the nanodroplet into a toroidal shape induced by the electron beam. We propose that this beam-induced change in shape increases the surface free energy of the nanodroplet that drives its transition from stick to slip state.