Hypoxia-targeted gold nanorods for cancer photothermal therapy.
ABSTRACT: Tumor hypoxia is a well-recognized driver of resistance to traditional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We describe development of a new nanoconstruct composed of gold nanorods (GNRs) conjugated to carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) antibody that specifically binds to CAIX, a biomarker of hypoxia, to facilitate targeting tumor hypoxic areas for focused photothermal ablation. Physicochemical characterization studies confirmed the size, shape, monodispersity, surface charge, and serum stability of the GNRs. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and cellular binding and uptake studies confirmed successful conjugation of antibody to the GNRs and specificity for CAIX. Near-infrared irradiation of CAIX-overexpressing cells treated with GNR/anti-CAIX resulted in significantly higher cell death than cells treated with control GNRs. In vivo biodistribution studies using hyperspectral imaging and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry confirmed intravenous administration results not only in greater accumulation of GNR/anti-CAIX in tumors than control GNRs but also greater penetration into hypoxic areas of tumors. Near-infrared ablation of these tumors showed no tumor regression in the sham-treated group, regression but recurrence in the non-targeted-GNR group, and complete tumor regression in the targeted-GNR group. GNR/anti-CAIX nanoconstructs show promise as hypoxia targeting and photothermal ablation agents for cancer treatment.
Project description:Gold nanorods (GNRs) are of great interest in cancer therapy given their ability to ablate tumor cells using deep tissue-penetrating near-infrared light. GNRs coated with tumor-specific moieties have the potential to target tumor tissue to minimize damage to normal tissue. However, perfect targeting is difficult to achieve given that nanoparticles could be broadly dispersed inside the body. Moreover, interaction between targeting groups and biological molecules could lower targeting abilities, resulting in off-target accumulation which might produce nanotoxicity. Here we introduce GNR-encapsulated microcubes (GNR@MCs) that can be utilized as implantable photothermal agents. GNR@MCs are created by encapsulating GNRs in polymeric networks via stop flow lithography (SFL), a one-phase synthesis technique which allows for creation of surfactant-free, uniform particles, and injection of GNR@MCs into the body after a simple rinse step. GNRs are highly packed and firmly encapsulated inside MCs, and entrapped GNRs exhibit optical properties comparable to that of unbound GNRs and photothermal efficiency (58%) in line with that of nano-sized agents (51-95%). Photothermal ablation in murine models is achieved using GNR@MCs stably implanted into the tumor tissue, which suggests that GNR@MCs can be a safe and effective platform for cancer therapy.
Project description:NIR-II plasmonic materials offer multiple functionalities for in vivo biomedical applications, such as photothermal tumor ablation, surface-enhanced Raman scattering biosensing, photoacoustic imaging, and drug carriers. However, integration of noble metals and plasmonic semiconductors is greatly challenging because of the large lattice-mismatch. This study reports the regioselective overgrowth of Cu2-xSe on gold nanorods (GNRs) for preparation of dual-plasmonic GNR@Cu2-xSe hybrid heterostructures with tunable NIR-II plasmon resonance absorption for in vivo photothermal tumor ablation. Methods: The regioselective deposition of amorphous Se and its subsequent conversion into Cu2-xSe on the GNRs are performed by altering capping agents to produce the GNR@Cu2-xSe heterostructures of various morphologies. Their photothermal performances for NIR-II photothermal tumor ablation are evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Results: We find that the lateral one- and two-side deposition, conformal core-shell coating and island growth of Cu2-xSe on the GNRs can be achieved using different capping agents. The Cu2-xSe domain size in these hybrids can be effectively adjusted by the SeO2 concentration, thereby tuning the NIR-II plasmon bands. A photothermal conversion efficiency up to 58-85% and superior photostability of these dual-plasmonic hybrids can be achieved under the NIR-II laser. Results also show that the photothermal conversion efficiency is dependent on the proportion of optical absorption converted into heat; however, the temperature rise is tightly related to the concentration of their constituents. The excellent NIR-II photothermal effect is further verified in the following in vitro and in vivo experiments. Conclusions: This study achieves one-side or two-side deposition, conformal core-shell coating, and island deposition of Cu2-xSe on GNRs for GNR@Cu2-xSe heterostructures with NIR-II plasmonic absorption, and further demonstrates their excellent NIR-II photothermal tumor ablation in vivo. This study provides a promising strategy for the rational design of NIR-II dual-plasmonic heterostructures and highlights their therapeutic in vivo potential.
Project description:Gold nanorods (GNRs) have emerged as promising nanomaterials for biosensing, imaging, photothermal treatment, and therapeutic delivery for several diseases, including cancer. We have generated poly(amino ether)-functionalized gold nanorods (PAE-GNRs) using a layer-by-layer deposition approach; polymers from a poly(amino ether) library recently synthesized in our laboratory were employed to generate the PAE-GNR assemblies. PAE-GNR assemblies demonstrate long-term colloidal stability as well as the capacity to bind plasmid DNA by means of electrostatic interactions. Sub-toxic concentrations of PAE-GNRs were employed to deliver plasmid DNA to prostate cancer cells in vitro. PAE-GNRs generated using 1,4C-1,4Bis, a cationic polymer from our laboratory demonstrated significantly higher transgene expression and exhibited lower cytotoxicities when compared to similar assemblies generated using 25 kDa poly(ethylene imine) (PEI25k-GNRs), a current standard for polymer-mediated gene delivery. The roles of polyelectrolyte chemistry and zeta-potential in determining transgene expression efficacies of PAE-GNR assemblies were investigated. Our results indicate that stable and effective PAE-GNR assemblies are a promising engineered platform for transgene delivery. PAE-GNRs also have the potential to be used simultaneously for photothermal ablation, photothermally enhanced drug and gene delivery, and biological imaging, thus making them a powerful theranostic platform.
Project description:Gold nanorods (GNRs) are well known in photothermal therapy based on near-infrared (NIR) laser absorption of the longitudinal plasmon band. Herein, we developed an effective stimulus system -- GNRs and doxorubicin co-loaded polymersomes (P-GNRs-DOX) -- to facilitate co-therapy of photothermal and chemotherapy. DOX can be triggered to release once the polymersomes are corrupted under local hyperthermic condition of GNRs induced by NIR laser irradiation. Also, the cytotoxicity of GNRs caused by the residual cetyltrimethylacmmonium bromide (CTAB) was reduced by shielding the polymersomes. The GNRs-loaded polymersomes (P-GNRs) can be efficiently taken up by the tumor cells. The distribution of the nanomaterial was imaged by IR-820 and quantitatively analyzed by ICP-AES. We studied the ablation of tumor cells in vitro and in vivo, and found that co-therapy offers significantly improved therapeutic efficacy (tumors were eliminated without regrowth.) compared with chemotherapy or photothermal therapy alone. By TUNEL immunofluorescent staining of tumors after NIR laser irradiation, we found that the co-therapy showed more apoptotic tumor cells than the other groups. Furthermore, the toxicity study by pathologic examination of the heart tissues demonstrated a lower systematic toxicity of P-GNRs-DOX than free DOX. Thus, the chemo-photothermal treatment based on polymersomes loaded with DOX and GNRs is a useful strategy for maximizing the therapeutic efficacy and minimizing the dosage-related side effects in the treatment of solid tumors.
Project description:The propensity of nanoparticles to aggregate in aqueous media hinders their effective use in biomedical applications. Gold nanorods (GNRs) have been investigated as therapeutics, imaging agents, and diagnostics. We report that chemically generated gold nanorods rapidly aggregate in biologically relevant media. Depositing polyelectrolyte multilayers on gold nanorods enhanced the stability of these nanoparticles for at least up to 4 weeks. Dispersions of polyelectrolyte (PE)-gold nanorod assemblies (PE-GNRs) demonstrate a stable Arrhenius-like photothermal response, which was exploited for the hyperthermic ablation of prostate cancer cells in vitro. Subtoxic concentrations of PE-GNR assemblies were also employed for delivering exogenous plasmid DNA to prostate cancer cells. PE-GNRs based on a cationic polyelectrolyte recently synthesized in our laboratory demonstrated higher transfection efficacy and lower cytotoxicity compared to those based on polyethyleneimine, a current standard for polymer-mediated gene delivery. Our results indicate that judicious engineering of biocompatible polyelectrolytes leads to multifunctional gold nanorod-based assemblies that combine high stability and low cytotoxicity with photothermal ablation, gene delivery, and optical imaging capabilities on a single platform.
Project description:Introduction:Radiolabeled gold nanoparticles play an important role in biomedical application. The aim of this study was to prepare iodine-131 (131I)-labeled gold nanorods (GNRs) conjugated with cyclic RGD and evaluate its biological characteristics for targeted imaging of integrin ?v?3-expressing tumors. Methods:HS-PEG(5000)-COOH molecules were applied to replace CTAB covering the surface of bare GNRs for better biocompatibility, and c(RGDfK) peptides were conjugated onto the carboxyl terminal of GNR-PEG-COOH via EDC/NHS coupling reactions. The nanoconjugate was characterized, and 131I was directly tagged on the surface of GNRs via AuI bonds for SPECT/CT imaging. We preliminarily studied the characteristics of the probe and its feasibility for tumor-targeting SPECT/CT imaging. Results:The [131I]GNR-PEG-cRGD probe was prepared in a simple and rapid manner and was stable in both PBS and fetal bovine serum. It targeted selectively and could be taken up by tumor cells mainly via integrin ?v?3-receptor-mediated endocytosis. In vivo imaging, biodistribution, and autoradiography results showed evident tumor uptake in integrin ?v?3-expressing tumors. Conclusions:These promising results showed that this smart nanoprobe can be used for angiogenesis-targeted SPECT/CT imaging. Furthermore, the nanoprobe possesses a remarkable capacity for highly efficient photothermal conversion in the near-infrared region, suggesting its potential as a multifunctional theranostic agent.
Project description:Combination cancer treatment has emerged as a critical approach to achieve remarkable anticancer effect. In this study, we prepared a theranostic nanoformulation that allows for photoacoustic imaging as well as combination gene and photothermal therapy. Gold nanorods (GNR) were coated with dipicolyl amine (DPA), which forms stable complexes with Zn2+ cations. The resulting nanoparticles, Zn(II)/DPA-GNR, recognize phosphate-containing molecules, including siRNA, because of the specific interaction between Zn(II) and the phosphates. We chose anti-polo-like kinase 1 siRNA (siPLK) as our example for gene silencing. The strong complexation between Zn(II)/DPA-GNR and siPLK provided high stability to the nano-complexes, which efficiently delivered siRNA into the targeted cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. The particle served as a theranostic agent because the GNRs of nano-complexes permitted effective photothermal therapy as well as photoacoustic imaging upon laser irradiation. This gene/photothermal combination therapy using siPLK/Zn(II)DPA-GNRs exhibited significant antitumor activity in a PC-3 tumor mouse model. The concept described in this work may be extended to the development of efficient delivery strategies for other polynucleotides as well as advanced anticancer therapy.
Project description:Methylene blue-loaded gold nanorod@SiO2 (MB-GNR@SiO2) core@shell nanoparticles are synthesized for use in cancer imaging and photothermal/photodynamic dual therapy. For the preparation of GNR@SiO2 nanoparticles, we found that the silica coating rate of hexadecylcetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)-capped GNRs is much slower than that of PEGylated GNRs due to the densely coated CTAB bilayer. Encapsulated MB molecules have both monomer and dimer forms that result in an increase in the photosensitizing effect through different photochemical pathways. As a consequence of the excellent plasmonic properties of GNRs at near-infrared (NIR) light, the embedded MB molecules showed NIR light-induced SERS performance with a Raman enhancement factor of 3.0 × 10(10), which is enough for the detection of a single cancer cell. Moreover, the MB-GNR@SiO2 nanoparticles exhibit a synergistic effect of photodynamic and photothermal therapies of cancer under single-wavelength NIR laser irradiation.
Project description:Mesoporous silica nanoshell (MSN) coating has been demonstrated as a versatile surface modification strategy for various kinds of inorganic functional nanoparticles, such as gold nanorods (GNRs), to achieve not only improved nanoparticle stability but also concomitant drug loading capability. However, limited drug loading capacity and low tumor accumulation rate in vivo are two major challenges for the biomedical applications of MSN-coated GNRs (GNR@MSN). In this study, by coating uniformly sized GNRs with MSN in an oil-water biphase reaction system, we have successfully synthesized a new bacteria-like GNR@MSN (i.e., bGNR@MSN) with a significantly enlarged pore size (4-8?nm) and surface area (470?m2/g). After PEGylation and highly efficient loading of doxorubicin (DOX, 40.9%, w/w), bGNR@MSN were used for positron emission tomography (PET, via facile and chelator-free 89Zr-labeling) and photoacoustic imaging-guided chemo-photothermal cancer therapy in vivo. PET imaging showed that 89Zr-labeled bGNR@MSN(DOX)-PEG can passively target to the 4T1 murine breast cancer-bearing mice with high efficiency (?10 %ID/g), based on enhanced permeability and retention effect. Significantly enhanced chemo-photothermal combination therapy was also achieved due to excellent photothermal effect and near-infrared-light-triggered drug release by bGNR@MSN(DOX)-PEG at the tumor site. The promising results indicate great potential of bGNR@MSN-PEG nanoplatforms for future cancer diagnosis and therapy.
Project description:The inhibition of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) by chemical inhibitors, such as rapamycin, has demonstrated anti-cancer activity in preclinical and clinical trials. Their efficacy is, however, limited and tumors eventually relapse through resistance formation. In this study, using two different cancer mouse models, we identify tumor hypoxia as a novel mechanism of resistance of cancer cells against mTORC1 inhibitors. Indeed, we show that the activity of mTORC1 is mainly restricted to the non-hypoxic tumor compartment, as evidenced by a mutually exclusive staining pattern of the mTORC1 activity marker pS6 and the hypoxia marker pimonidazole. Consequently, whereas rapamycin reduces cancer cell proliferation in non-hypoxic regions, it has no effect in hypoxic areas, suggesting that cancer cells proliferate independently of mTORC1 under hypoxia. Targeting the hypoxic tumor compartment by knockdown of carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) using short hairpin RNA or by chemical inhibition of CAIX with acetazolamide potentiates the anti-cancer activity of rapamycin. Taken together, these data emphasize that hypoxia impairs the anti-cancer efficacy of rapalogs. Therapeutic strategies targeting the hypoxic tumor compartment, such as the inhibition of CAIX, potentiate the efficacy of rapamycin and warrant further clinical evaluation.