ABSTRACT: To date, numerous inorganic nanocarriers have been explored for drug delivery systems (DDSs). However, the clinical application of inorganic formulations has often been hindered by their toxicity and failure to biodegrade. We describe here a transformable liquid-metal nanomedicine, based on a core-shell nanosphere composed of a liquid-phase eutectic gallium-indium core and a thiolated polymeric shell. This formulation can be simply produced through a sonication-mediated method with bioconjugation flexibility. The resulting nanoparticles loaded with doxorubicin (Dox) have an average diameter of 107?nm and demonstrate the capability to fuse and subsequently degrade under a mildly acidic condition, which facilitates release of Dox in acidic endosomes after cellular internalization. Equipped with hyaluronic acid, a tumour-targeting ligand, this formulation displays enhanced chemotherapeutic inhibition towards the xenograft tumour-bearing mice. This liquid metal-based DDS with fusible and degradable behaviour under physiological conditions provides a new strategy for engineering theranostic agents with low toxicity.
Project description:Core-shell nanostructures are promising platforms for combination drug delivery. However, their complicated synthesis process, poor stability, surface engineering, and low biocompatibility are major hurdles. Herein, a carboxymethyl chitosan-coated poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (cmcPLGA) core-shell nanostructure is prepared via a simple one-step nanoprecipitation self-assembly process. Engineered core-shell nanostructures are tested for combination delivery of loaded docetaxel and doxorubicin in a cancer-mimicked environment. The drugs are compartmentalized in a shell (doxorubicin, Dox) and a core (docetaxel, Dtxl) with loading contents of ?1.2 and ?2.06%, respectively. Carboxymethyl chitosan with both amine and carboxyl groups act as a polyampholyte in diminishing ?-potential of nanoparticles from fairly negative (-13 mV) to near neutral (-2 mV) while moving from a physiological pH (7.4) to an acidic tumor pH (6) that can help the nanoparticles to accumulate and release the drug on-site. The dual-drug formulation was found to carry a clinically comparable 1.7:1 weight ratio of Dtxl/Dox, nanoengineered for the sequential release of Dox followed by Dtxl. Single and engineered combinatorial nanoformulations show better growth inhibition toward three different cancer cells compared to free drug treatment. Importantly, Dox-Dtxl cmcPLGA nanoparticles scored synergism with combination index values between 0.2 and 0.3 in BT549 (breast ductal carcinoma), PC3 (prostate cancer), and A549 (lung adenocarcinoma) cell lines, demonstrating significant cell growth inhibition at lower drug concentrations as compared to single-drug control groups. The observed promising performance of dual-drug formulation is due to the G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis.
Project description:Biodegradable nanoparticles have been well studied as biocompatible delivery systems. Nanoparticles of less than 200 nm in size can facilitate the passive targeting of drugs to tumour tissues and their accumulation therein via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. Recent studies have focused on stimuli-responsive drug delivery systems (DDS) for improving the effectiveness of chemotherapy; for example, pH-sensitive DDS depend on the weakly acidic and neutral extracellular pH of tumour and normal tissues, respectively. In our previous work, core-shell nanoparticles composed of the biodegradable polymer poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and the widely used inorganic biomaterial hydroxyapatite (HAp, which exhibits pH sensitivity) were prepared using a surfactant-free method. These PLA/HAp core-shell nanoparticles could load 750 wt% of a hydrophobic model drug. In this work, the properties of the PLA/HAp core-shell nanoparticles loaded with the anti-cancer drug paclitaxel (PTX) were thoroughly investigated <i>in vitro</i>. Because the PTX-containing nanoparticles were approximately 80 nm in size, they can be expected to facilitate efficient drug delivery via the EPR effect. The core-shell nanoparticles were cytotoxic towards cancer cells (4T1). This was due to the pH sensitivity of the HAp shell, which is stable in neutral conditions and dissolves in acidic conditions. The cytotoxic activity of the PTX-loaded nanoparticles was sustained for up to 48 h, which was suitable for tumour growth inhibition. These results suggest that the core-shell nanoparticles can be suitable drug carriers for various water-insoluble drugs.
Project description:Previous studies have reported substantial improvement of microbubble (MB)-mediated drug delivery with ultrasound when drugs are loaded onto the MB shell compared with a physical mixture. However, drug loading may affect shell properties that determine the acoustic responsiveness of MBs, producing unpredictable outcomes. The aim of this study is to reveal how the surface loaded drug (doxorubicin, DOX) affects the acoustic properties of MBs. A suitable formulation of MBs for DOX loading was first identified by regulating the proportion of two lipid materials (1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC) and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-rac-glycerol sodium salt (DSPG)) with distinct electrostatic properties. We found that the DOX loading capacity of MBs was determined by the proportion of DSPG, since there was an electrostatic interaction with DOX. The DOX payload reduced the lipid fluidity of MBs, although this effect was dependent on the spatial uniformity of DOX on the MB shell surface. Loading DOX onto MBs enhanced acoustic stability 1.5-fold, decreased the resonance frequency from 12-14 MHz to 5-7 MHz, and reduced stable cavitation dose by 1.5-fold, but did not affect the stable cavitation threshold (300 kPa). Our study demonstrated that the DOX reduces lipid fluidity and decreases the elasticity of the MB shell, thereby influencing the acoustic properties of MBs.
Project description:Combination therapy has been regarded as a potent strategy to overcome multidrug resistance (MDR). In this study, we adopt Adjudin (ADD), a mitochondria inhibitor, and Doxorubicin (DOX), a common chemo-drug, to treat drug-resistant cancer cells (MCF-7/ADR) in combination. Given the different physico-chemical properties of ADD and DOX, we develop a novel drug formulation (ADD-DOX (M)) by integrating drug conjugation and nanocarrier approaches to realize the co-delivery of the two drugs. We demonstrate the conjugation of ADD and DOX via formation of an acid-sensitive hydrazone bond, and then the encapsulation of ADD-DOX conjugates by DSPE-PEG2000 micelles with high drug encapsulation efficiency and well-controllable drug loading efficiency. The obtained ADD-DOX (M) micelles are found to be stable under physiological conditions, but can rapidly release drugs within acidic environments. Following cellular experiments confirm that ADD-DOX (M) vehicles can be internalized by MCF-7/ADR cancer cells through an endocytic pathway and exist within the moderate acidic endolysosomes, thus accelerating the hydrolysis of ADD-DOX and the release of free ADD and DOX. As a result, the ADD-DOX (M) formulation exhibits an excellent anti-MDR effect. In summary, we for the first time report the combinational use of ADD and DOX with an effective co-delivery strategy for the treatment of MDR cancer cells.
Project description:Cancer vaccines hold great promise for improved cancer treatment. However, endosomal trapping and low immunogenicity of tumour antigens usually limit the efficiency of vaccination strategies. Here, we present a proton-driven nanotransformer-based vaccine, comprising a polymer-peptide conjugate-based nanotransformer and loaded antigenic peptide. The nanotransformer-based vaccine induces a strong immune response without substantial systemic toxicity. In the acidic endosomal environment, the nanotransformer-based vaccine undergoes a dramatic morphological change from nanospheres (about 100?nanometres in diameter) into nanosheets (several micrometres in length or width), which mechanically disrupts the endosomal membrane and directly delivers the antigenic peptide into the cytoplasm. The re-assembled nanosheets also boost tumour immunity via activation of specific inflammation pathways. The nanotransformer-based vaccine effectively inhibits tumour growth in the B16F10-OVA and human papilloma virus-E6/E7 tumour models in mice. Moreover, combining the nanotransformer-based vaccine with anti-PD-L1 antibodies results in over 83 days of survival and in about half of the mice produces complete tumour regression in the B16F10 model. This proton-driven transformable nanovaccine offers a robust and safe strategy for cancer immunotherapy.
Project description:We have designed and evaluated a dual anticancer delivery system to provide combined gene therapy and chemotherapy. Double-walled microspheres consisting of a poly(d,l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) core surrounded by a poly(lactic acid) (PLA) shell were fabricated via the precision particle fabrication (PPF) technique. We make use of the advantages of double-walled microspheres to deliver chitosan-DNA nanoparticles containing the gene encoding the p53 tumor suppressor protein (chi-p53) and/or doxorubicin (Dox), loaded in the shell and core phases, respectively. Different molecular weights of PLA were used to form the shell layer for each formulation. The microspheres were monodisperse with a mean diameter of 65 to 75 ?m and uniform shell thickness of 8 to 17 ?m. Blank and Dox-loaded microspheres typically exhibited a smooth surface with relatively few small pores, while chi-microspheres containing p53 nanoparticles, with and without Dox, presented rough and porous surfaces. The encapsulation efficiency of Dox was significantly higher when it was encapsulated alone compared to co-encapsulation with chi-p53 nanoparticles. The encapsulation efficiency of chi-p53 nanoparticles, on the other hand, was not affected by the presence of Dox. As desired, chi-p53 nanoparticles were released first, followed by simultaneous release of chi-p53 nanoparticles and Dox at a near zero-order rate. Thus, we have demonstrated that the PPF method is capable of producing double-walled microspheres and encapsulating dual agents for combined modality treatment, such as gene therapy and chemotherapy.
Project description:In previous reports, laboratory-made lysolecithin-containing thermosensitive liposome encapsulating doxorubicin (LTSL-DOX) showed potent anticancer effects in FaDu human squamous cell carcinoma. To further study the spectrum of LTSL-DOX activity, the efficacy of its commercial formulation was re-examined in FaDu and compared in HCT116, PC3, SKOV-3 and 4T07 cancer cell lines. Factors that may influence differences in HT-LTSL-DOX efficacy were also examined.Anticancer effect was measured using standard growth delay methods. We measured doubling time and clonogenic survival after doxorubicin exposure in vitro, and interstitial pH and drug concentrations in vivo.In all five tumour types, HT-LTSL-DOX increased median tumour growth time compared with untreated controls (p < 0.0006) and HT alone (p < 0.01), and compared with LTSL-DOX alone in FaDu, PC-3 and HCT-116 (p < 0.0006). HT-LTSL-DOX yielded significantly higher drug concentrations than LTSL-DOX (p < 0.0001). FaDu was most sensitive (p < 0.0014) to doxorubicin (IC(50) = 90 nM) in vitro, compared to the other cell lines (IC(50) = 129-168 nM). Of the parameters tested for correlation with efficacy, only the correlation of in vitro doubling time and in vivo median growth time was significant (Pearson r = 0.98, p = 0.0035). Slower-growing SKOV-3 and PC-3 had the greatest numbers of complete regressions and longest tumour growth delays, which are clinically important parameters.These results strongly suggest that variations in anti-tumour effect of HT-LTSL-DOX are primarily related to in vitro doubling time. In the clinic, the rate of tumour progression must be considered in design of treatment regimens involving HT-LTSL-DOX.
Project description:Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural ligand of tumor-targeted drug delivery systems (DDS) due to the relevant CD44 receptor overexpressed on tumor cell membranes. However, other HA receptors (HARE and LYVE-1) are also overexpressing in the reticuloendothelial system (RES). Therefore, polyethylene glycol (PEG) modification of HA-based DDS is necessary to reduce RES capture. Unfortunately, pegylation remarkably inhibits tumor cellular uptake and endosomal escapement, significantly compromising the <i>in vivo</i> antitumor efficacy. Herein, we developed a Dox-loaded HA-based transformable supramolecular nanoplatform (Dox/HCVBP) to overcome this dilemma. Dox/HCVBP contains a tumor extracellular acidity-sensitive detachable PEG shell achieved by a benzoic imine linkage. The <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i> investigations further demonstrated that Dox/HCVBP could be in a "stealth" state at blood stream for a long circulation time due to the buried HA ligands and the minimized nonspecific interaction by PEG shell. However, it could transform into a "recognition" state under the tumor acidic microenvironment for efficient tumor cellular uptake due to the direct exposure of active targeting ligand HA following PEG shell detachment. Such a transformative concept provides a promising strategy to resolve the dilemma of natural ligand-based DDS with conflicting two processes of tumor cellular uptake and <i>in vivo</i> nonspecific biodistribution.
Project description:Doxorubicin (DOX) has been clinically used as a broad-spectrum chemotherapeutic agent for decades, but its clinical application is hindered by the lack of tumour specificity, severe cardiotoxicity and haematotoxicity. Pre-targeted strategies are highly tumour-specific, therapeutic approaches. Herein, a novel pre-targeted system was constructed, aiming to enhance anticancer efficacy of DOX and maximally reduce its side effects. <b>Methods:</b> The DOX prodrug (bDOX) was first synthesized by conjugating DOX with mini-PEGylated (mPEGylated) biotin through a pH-sensitive bond. During the pre-targeted treatment, avidin was first administrated. After an optimized interval, bDOX was second administrated. The nontoxic prodrug bDOX was eventually transformed into the toxic anticancer form (DOX) by a pH-triggered cleavage specifically in tumour cells. The drug efficacy and side effect of the two-step, pre-targeted treatment were fully compared with free DOX <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i>. <b>Results:</b> The prodrug bDOX was quite stable under neutral conditions and nearly nontoxic, but was immediately transformed into the toxic anticancer form (DOX) under acidic conditions. Compared to free DOX, the pre-targeted bDOX exhibited a higher cellular uptake by human colorectal tumour cells (LS180 and HT-29 cells). <i>In vivo</i> evaluation performed on LS180 xenograft animal model demonstrated that the pre-targeted bDOX achieved a much more significant tumour inhibition than free DOX. The largely decreased, unwanted bystander toxicity was demonstrated by changes in body weight, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, blood routine examination and splenic pathological changes. <b>Conclusion:</b> The high therapeutic efficacy, together with the minimal side effects, of this easily synthesized, pre-targeted system exhibited immense potentiality for the clinical application of DOX delivery.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Human platelets (PLT) and PLT-extracellular vesicles (PEV) released upon thrombin activation express receptors that interact with tumour cells and, thus, can serve as a delivery platform of anti-cancer agents. Drug-loaded nanoparticles coated with PLT membranes were demonstrated to have improved targeting efficiency to tumours, but remain impractical for clinical translation. PLT and PEV targeted drug delivery vehicles should facilitate clinical developments if clinical-grade procedures can be developed. METHODS:PLT from therapeutic-grade PLT concentrate (PC; N?>?50) were loaded with doxorubicin (DOX) and stored at -?80?°C (DOX-loaded PLT) with 6% dimethyl sulfoxide (cryopreserved DOX-loaded PLT). Surface markers and function of cryopreserved DOX-loaded PLT was confirmed by Western blot and thromboelastography, respectively. The morphology of fresh and cryopreserved naïve and DOX-loaded PLT was observed by scanning electron microscopy. The content of tissue factor-expressing cancer-derived extracellular vesicles (TF-EV) present in conditioned medium (CM) of breast cancer cells cultures was measured. The drug release by fresh and cryopreserved DOX-loaded PLT triggered by various pH and CM was determined by high performance liquid chromatography. The thrombin activated PEV was analyzed by nanoparticle tracking analysis. The cellular uptake of DOX from PLT was observed by deconvolution microscopy. The cytotoxicities of DOX-loaded PLT, cryopreserved DOX-loaded PLT, DOX and liposomal DOX on breast, lung and colon cancer cells were analyzed by CCK-8 assay. RESULTS:15~36?×?106 molecules of DOX could be loaded in each PLT within 3 to 9?days after collection. The characterization and bioreactivity of cryopreserved DOX-loaded PLT were preserved, as evidenced by (a) microscopic observations, (b) preservation of important PLT membrane markers CD41, CD61, protease activated receptor-1, (c) functional activity, (d) reactivity to TF-EV, and (e) efficient generation of PEV upon thrombin activation. The transfer of DOX from cryopreserved PLT to cancer cells was achieved within 90?min, and stimulated by TF-EV and low pH. The cryopreserved DOX-loaded PLT formulation was 7~23-times more toxic to three cancer cells than liposomal DOX. CONCLUSIONS:Cryopreserved DOX-loaded PLT can be prepared under clinically compliant conditions preserving the membrane functionality for anti-cancer therapy. These findings open perspectives for translational applications of PLT-based drug delivery systems.