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1.  The permeability of SPION over an artificial three-layer membrane is enhanced by external magnetic field 
Sensorineural hearing loss, a subset of all clinical hearing loss, may be correctable through the use of gene therapy. We are testing a delivery system of therapeutics through a 3 cell-layer round window membrane model (RWM model) that may provide an entry of drugs or genes to the inner ear. We designed an in vitro RWM model similar to the RWM (will be referred to throughout the paper as RWM model) to determine the feasibility of using superparamagnetic iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles (SPION) for targeted delivery of therapeutics to the inner ear.
The RWM model is a 3 cell-layer model with epithelial cells cultured on both sides of a small intestinal submucosal (SIS) matrix and fibroblasts seeded in between. Dextran encapsulated nanoparticle clusters 130 nm in diameter were pulled through the RWM model using permanent magnets with flux density 0.410 Tesla at the pole face. The SIS membranes were harvested at day 7 and then fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde. Transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence spectrophotometry were used to verify transepithelial transport of the SPION across the cell-culture model. Histological sections were examined for evidence of SPION toxicity, as well to generate a timeline of the position of the SPION at different times. SPION also were added to cells in culture to assess in vitro toxicity.
Transepithelial electrical resistance measurements confirmed epithelial confluence, as SPION crossed a membrane consisting of three co-cultured layers of cells, under the influence of a magnetic field. Micrographs showed SPION distributed throughout the membrane model, in between cell layers, and sometimes on the surface of cells. TEM verified that the SPION were pulled through the membrane into the culture well below. Fluorescence spectrophotometry quantified the number of SPION that went through the SIS membrane. SPION showed no toxicity to cells in culture.
A three-cell layer model of the human round window membrane has been constructed. SPION have been magnetically transported through this model, allowing quantitative evaluation of prospective targeted drug or gene delivery through the RWM. Putative in vivo carrier superparamagnetic nanoparticles may be evaluated using this model.
PMCID: PMC1475881  PMID: 16603066
2.  Magnetic Targeted Delivery of Dexamethasone Acetate across the Round Window Membrane in Guinea Pigs 
Magnetically susceptible PLGA nanoparticles will effectively target the round window membrane (RWM) for delivery of dexamethasone-acetate (Dex-Ac) to the scala tympani.
Targeted delivery of therapeutics to specific tissues can be accomplished using different targeting mechanisms. One technology includes iron oxide nanoparticles, susceptible to external magnetic fields. If a nanocomposite composed of biocompatible polymer (PLGA), magnetite, and Dex-Ac can be pulled into and across the mammalian RWM, drug delivery can be enhanced.
In vitro targeting and release kinetics of PLGA-magnetite-Dex-Ac nanoparticles first were measured using a RWM model. Next, these optimized nanocomposites were targeted to the RWM by filling the niche in anesthetized guinea pigs. A permanent magnet was placed opposite the RWM for 1 hour. Cochlear soft tissues, perilymph, and RWM were harvested after euthanasia and steroid levels were measured using HPLC.
Membrane transport, in vitro, proved optimal targeting using a lower particle magnetite concentration (1 versus 5 or 10 mg/ml). In vivo targeted PLGA-magnetite-Dex-Ac particles had an average size of 482.8 ± 158 nm (DLS) and an average zeta potential −19.9 ± 3.3 mV. In 1 hour, there was significantly increased cochlear targeted delivery of Dex or Dex-Ac, compared with diffusion alone.
Superparamagnetic PLGA-magnetite-Dex-Ac nanoparticles under an external magnetic field (0.26 mT) for 1 hour significantly increased Dex-Ac delivery to the inner ear. The RWM was not completely permeated and also became loaded with nanocomposites, indicating that delivery to the cochlea would continue for weeks by PLGA degradation and passive diffusion.
PMCID: PMC3522431  PMID: 23187928
Dexamethasone acetate; Magnetic targeting; Poly(lactide-co-glycolide); Round window membrane; Sensorineural hearing loss
3.  Dynamic Properties of Round Window Membrane in Guinea Pig Otitis Media Model Measured with Electromagnetic Stimulation 
Hearing research  2013;301:125-136.
The round window, one of two openings into the cochlea from the middle ear, plays an important role in hearing and is known to be structurally altered during otitis media. However, there have been no published studies systematically describing the changes in biomechanical properties of the round window membrane (RWM) that accompany bacterial otitis media. Here we describe the occurrence of significant changes in the dynamic properties of the RWM between normal guinea pigs and those with acute otitis media (AOM) that are detectable by electromagnetic force stimulation and laser Doppler vibrometry (LDV) measurements. AOM was induced by transbullar injection of streptococcus pneumoniae into the middle ear, and RWM specimens were prepared three days after challenge. Vibration of the RWM induced by coil-magnet coupling was measured by LDV over frequencies of 0.2–40 kHz. The experiment was then simulated in a finite element model, and the inverse-problem solving method was used to determine the complex modulus in the frequency domain and the relaxation modulus in the time domain. Results from 18 ears (9 control ears and 9 AOM ears) established that both the storage modulus and loss modulus of the RWM from ears with AOM were significantly lower than those of RWM from uninfected ears. The average decrease of the storage modulus in AOM ears ranged from 1.5 to 2.2 MPa and the average decrease of the loss modulus was 0.025 to 0.48 MPa. Our findings suggest that middle ear infection primarily affects the stiffness of the RWM due to the morphological changes that occur in AOM ears. We also conclude that the coil-magnet coupling method for assessment of RWM function may provide a valuable new approach to characterizing the mechanical response of the RWM when reverse driving is selected for middle ear implantable devices.
PMCID: PMC3669251  PMID: 23333258
round window membrane; Streptococcus pneumoniae; complex modulus; laser vibrometry; finite element model; otitis media
4.  Enhanced local bioavailability of single or compound drugs delivery to the inner ear through application of PLGA nanoparticles via round window administration 
In this paper, the potential of poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) for carrying single or compound drugs traversing the round window membrane (RWM) was examined after the round window (RW) administration of different NPs to guinea pigs. First, coumarin-6 was incorporated into PLGA NPs as a fluorescent probe to investigate its ability to cross the RWM. Then, PLGA NPs with salvianolic acid B (Sal B), tanshinone IIA (TS IIA), and total panax notoginsenoside (PNS) including notoginsenoside R1 (R1), ginsenoside Rg1 (Rg1), and ginsenoside Rb1 (Rb1) were developed to evaluate whether NPs loaded with compound drugs would pass through the RWM and improve the local bioavailability of these agents. PLGA NPs loaded with single or compound drugs were prepared by the emulsification solvent evaporation method, and their particle size distribution, particle morphology, and encapsulation efficiency were characterized. In vitro release study showed sustained-release profiles of Sal B, TS IIA, and PNS from the NPs. The pharmacokinetic results showed that NPs applied to the RWM significantly improved drug distribution within the inner ear. The AUC0–t of coumarin-6 in the perilymph (PL) following RW administration of NPs was 4.7-fold higher than that of coumarin-6 solution, and the Cmax was 10.9-fold higher. Furthermore, the AUC0–t of R1, Rg1, and Rb1 were 4.0-, 3.1-, and 7.1-fold greater, respectively, after the application of NPs compared to the compound solution, and the Cmax were, respectively, 14.4-, 10.0-, and 16.7-fold higher. These findings suggest that PLGA NPs with unique properties at the nanoscale dimensions have a powerful ability to transport single or compound drugs into the PL through the RWM and remarkably enhance the local bioavailability of the encapsulated drugs in the inner ear. The use of PLGA NPs as nanoscale delivery vehicles to carry drugs across the RWM may be a promising strategy for the treatment of inner ear diseases.
PMCID: PMC4257110  PMID: 25489245
inner ear administration; nanoparticles; perilymph; local bioavailability; poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide acid)
5.  Breakdown of the round window membrane permeability barrier evoked by streptolysin O: possible etiologic role in development of sensorineural hearing loss in acute otitis media. 
Infection and Immunity  1995;63(4):1305-1310.
Sensorineural hearing loss is a common sequela of acute and chronic otitis media, and the round window membrane (RWM) is currently being considered as a major route for noxious agents to pass from the middle ear cavity to the cochlea. Streptococcus pneumoniae, a major causative agent of otitis media, and Streptococcus pyogenes A produce molecularly related toxins, pneumolysin and streptolysin O (SLO), that form large pores in target membranes. In this study, we analyzed the effects of SLO on the permeability of the RWM. Resected RWMs from a total of 104 guinea pigs were embedded between two chambers of an in vitro system. One chamber was designated as the tympanal (cis) compartment, and the other was designated as the inner ear (trans) compartment. The permeability of normal and SLO-damaged RWMs towards Na+, [14C]mannitol, and proteins was investigated. SLO evoked permeability defects dose dependently in the RWM with fluxes of both Na+ and [14C]mannitol being demonstrable over a time span of up to 8 h. Serum proteins and radioiodinated SLO were also shown to pass through the damage RWM. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the morphological correlates to these results. We propose that damage to the RWM by potent pore-forming cytolysins leads to leakage of ions from the perilymph. Ionic disequilibrium and passage of noxious macromolecules to the cochlea could contribute to disturbances of the inner ear function.
PMCID: PMC173151  PMID: 7890388
6.  Bio-functionalized dense-silica nanoparticles for MR/NIRF imaging of CD146 in gastric cancer 
Nano dense-silica (dSiO2) has many advantages such as adjustable core–shell structure, multiple drug delivery, and controllable release behavior. Improving the gastric tumor-specific targeting efficiency based on the development of various strategies is crucial for anti-cancer drug delivery systems.
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) were coated with dSiO2 as core–shell nanoparticles, and labeled with near infra-red fluorescence (NIRF) dye 800ZW (excitation wavelength: 778 nm/emission wavelength: 806 nm) and anti-CD146 monoclonal antibody YY146 for magnetic resonance (MR)/NIRF imaging study in xenograft gastric cancer model. The morphology and the size of pre- and postlabeling SPION@dSiO2 core–shell nanoparticles were characterized using transmission electron microscopy. Iron content in SPION@dSiO2 nanoparticles was measured by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. Fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence-activated cell sorter studies were carried out to confirm the binding specificity of YY146 and 800ZW–SPION@dSiO2–YY146 on MKN45 cells. In vivo and in vitro NIRF imaging, control (nanoparticles only) and blocking studies, and histology were executed on MKN45 tumor-bearing nude mice to estimate the affinity of 800ZW–SPION@dSiO2–YY146 to target tumor CD146.
800ZW–SPION@dSiO2–YY146 nanoparticles were uniformly spherical in shape and dispersed evenly in a cell culture medium. The diameter of the nanoparticle was 20–30 nm with 15 nm SPION core and ~10 nm SiO2 shell, and the final concentration was 1.7 nmol/mL. Transverse relaxivity of SPION@dSiO2 dispersed in water was measured to be 110.57 mM−1·s−1. Fluorescence activated cell sorter analysis of the nanoparticles in MKN45 cells showed 14-fold binding of 800ZW–SPION@dSiO2–YY146 more than the control group 800ZW–SPION@dSiO2. Series of NIRF imaging post intravenous injection of 800ZW–SPION@dSiO2–YY146 demonstrated that the MKN45 xenograft tumor model could be clearly identified as early as a time point of 30 minutes postinjection. Quantitative analysis revealed that the tumor uptake peaked at 24 hours postinjection.
This is the first successful study of functional nanoparticles for MR/NIRF imaging of cell surface glycoprotein CD146 in gastric cancer model. Our results suggest that 800ZW–SPION@dSiO2–YY146 nanoparticles will be applicable in tumor for image-guided therapy/surgery.
PMCID: PMC4309778  PMID: 25653520
SPION; nanotechnology; EMT; SPION@dSiO2; xenograft; gastric cancer
7.  Entry of substances into perilymph through the bone of the otic capsule following intratympanic applicatons in guinea pigs: Implications for local drug delivery in humans 
Drugs applied intratympanically in humans are believed to enter the cochlea primarily through the round window membrane (RWM). Local drug treatments of the ear are commonly evaluated in rodent models. The otic capsule is much thinner at the cochlear apex in rodents than in humans. We therefore investigated whether drugs applied to the middle ear could enter perilymph through the otic capsule as well as through the RWM.
The distribution of gentamicin and the marker trimethylphenylammonium (TMPA) along the guinea pig cochlea was assessed with sequential apical perilymph sampling following two delivery paradigms that included i) completely filling the tympanic bulla with solution, and ii) applying the solution to the RWM only. In addition, TMPA entry into perilymph of the third turn was measured with ion-selective electrodes while the bulla was filled with TMPA solution.
In application protocols that allowed drug to contact the otic capsule (by completely filling the bulla) markedly higher drug concentrations were found in the apical, low-frequency regions of the cochlea compared with drug applications to the RWM only.
Gentamicin and TMPA can enter perilymph of guinea pigs through the RWM and simultaneously through the bony otic capsule. Drug distribution along the cochlea following intratympanic applications will therefore be dramatically different in rodents and humans. Results obtained from intratympanic drug treatments of animals, in which the bulla is filled with solution and contacts the bony capsule of the cochlea, do not provide a good model for the human situation.
PMCID: PMC2729139  PMID: 19180674
8.  Uptake and Transport of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles through Human Brain Capillary Endothelial Cells 
ACS Chemical Neuroscience  2013;4(10):1352-1360.
The blood–brain barrier (BBB) formed by brain capillary endothelial cells (BCECs) constitutes a firm physical, chemical, and immunological barrier, making the brain accessible to only a few percent of potential drugs intended for treatment inside the central nervous system. With the purpose of overcoming the restraints of the BBB by allowing the transport of drugs, siRNA, or DNA into the brain, a novel approach is to use superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) as drug carriers. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of fluorescent SPIONs to pass through human brain microvascular endothelial cells facilitated by an external magnet. The ability of SPIONs to penetrate the barrier was shown to be significantly stronger in the presence of an external magnetic force in an in vitro BBB model. Hence, particles added to the luminal side of the in vitro BBB model were found in astrocytes cocultured at a remote distance on the abluminal side, indicating that particles were transported through the barrier and taken up by astrocytes. Addition of the SPIONs to the culture medium did not negatively affect the viability of the endothelial cells. The magnetic force-mediated dragging of SPIONs through BCECs may denote a novel mechanism for the delivery of drugs to the brain.
PMCID: PMC3798986  PMID: 23919894
blood−brain barrier; magnetic nanoparticles; drug delivery; TEER; astrocytes; endothelial cells; in vitro
9.  Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles conjugated with epidermal growth factor (SPION–EGF) for targeting brain tumors 
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) conjugated with recombinant human epidermal growth factor (SPION–EGF) were studied as a potential agent for magnetic resonance imaging contrast enhancement of malignant brain tumors. Synthesized conjugates were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, and nuclear magnetic resonance relaxometry. The interaction of SPION–EGF conjugates with cells was analyzed in a C6 glioma cell culture. The distribution of the nanoparticles and their accumulation in tumors were assessed by magnetic resonance imaging in an orthotopic model of C6 gliomas. SPION–EGF nanosuspensions had the properties of a negative contrast agent with high coefficients of relaxation efficiency. In vitro studies of SPION–EGF nanoparticles showed high intracellular incorporation and the absence of a toxic influence on C6 cell viability and proliferation. Intravenous administration of SPION–EGF conjugates in animals provided receptor-mediated targeted delivery across the blood–brain barrier and tumor retention of the nanoparticles; this was more efficient than with unconjugated SPIONs. The accumulation of conjugates in the glioma was revealed as hypotensive zones on T2-weighted images with a twofold reduction in T2 relaxation time in comparison to unconjugated SPIONs (P<0.001). SPION–EGF conjugates provide targeted delivery and efficient magnetic resonance contrast enhancement of EGFR-overexpressing C6 gliomas.
PMCID: PMC3888267  PMID: 24421639
brain tumor; C6 glioma; magnetic nanoparticles; EGFR; epidermal growth factor; MRI contrast agent; SPION
10.  Comparison of Two Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxides on Cytotoxicity and MR Imaging of Tumors 
Theranostics  2012;2(1):76-85.
Purpose: This study was performed to compare the cytotoxicity and magnetic resonance (MR) contrast in diverse cultured cells and xenograft tumors models of two ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxides (USPIOs), thermally cross-linked superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (TCL-SPION) and monocrystalline iron oxide nanoparticles (MION-47).
Materials and methods: Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images and R2 relaxivity values of the TCL-SPION and MION-47 were obtained and the cell viability and cell growth velocity of treated and untreated human fibroblasts and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were evaluated. The effect of TCL-SPION and MION-47 on the secretion of interlukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), the production of nitric oxides and the mitochondrial membrane potentials in murine macrophage cells (RAW264.7) was compared. Human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2, 5x105) were subcutaneously injected into nude mice (BALB/c) and in vivo MR imaging of tumors before and after injection with TCL-SPION or MION-47 (12.5 mg Fe/kg) was performed on a 1.5 Tesla MRI scanner.
Results: On TEM images, the average core diameter of TCL-SPION was 9 nm whereas that of MION-47 was 5 nm. TCL- SPION (345.0 ± 6.2 mM-1sec-1) had higher relaxivity (R2) than MION-47 (130.7 ± 1.1 mM-1sec-1). Significant changes in cell viability and growth were not found in human fibroblasts and HUVEC exposed to TCL-SPION and MION-47. However, IL-6 and TNF-α secretions increased dose-dependently and significantly in the macrophages treated with MION-47 or TCL-SPION. TCL-SPION had a lower stimulatory effect on IL-6 secretions than did MION-47 (P <0.05) and nitric oxides were produced in the macrophages by MION-47 but not TCL-SPION. A change in the mitochondrial membrane potential of the macrophages was observed 24 hours after the exposure, and MION-47 induced more collapses of the mitochondrial membrane potential than did TCL-SPION. In the in vivo MR imaging, 33.0 ± 1.3% and 7.5 ± 0.4% signal intensity decrease on T2*-weighted images was observed in the tumors injected with TCL-SPION and MION-47, respectively.
Conclusion: Due to the modified surface properties and larger core size of its iron oxide nanoparticles, TCL-SPION achieves lower cytotoxicity and better tumor MR contrast than MION-47. Our study suggests that TCL-SPION may be used as a new platform for tumor imaging and therapy monitoring.
PMCID: PMC3263518  PMID: 22272221
Ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxides; Magnetic resonance imaging; TCL-SPION; MION-47; Tumor targeting.
11.  Hyaluronic Acid Enhances Gene Delivery into the Cochlea 
Human Gene Therapy  2011;23(3):302-310.
Cochlear gene therapy can be a new avenue for the treatment of severe hearing loss by inducing regeneration or phenotypic rescue. One necessary step to establish this therapy is the development of a safe and feasible inoculation surgery, ideally without drilling the bony cochlear wall. The round window membrane (RWM) is accessible in the middle-ear space, but viral vectors placed on this membrane do not readily cross the membrane to the cochlear tissues. In an attempt to enhance permeability of the RWM, we applied hyaluronic acid (HA), a nontoxic and biodegradable reagent, onto the RWM of guinea pigs, prior to delivering an adenovirus carrying enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) reporter gene (Ad-eGFP) at the same site. We examined distribution of eGFP in the cochlea 1 week after treatment, comparing delivery of the vector via the RWM, with or without HA, to delivery by a cochleostomy into the perilymph. We found that cochlear tissue treated with HA-assisted delivery of Ad-eGFP demonstrated wider expression of transgenes in cochlear cells than did tissue treated by cochleostomy injection. HA-assisted vector delivery facilitated expression in cells lining the scala media, which are less accessible and not transduced after perilymphatic injection. We assessed auditory function by measuring auditory brainstem responses and determined that thresholds were significantly better in the ears treated with HA-assisted Ad-eGFP placement on the RWM as compared with cochleostomy. Together, these data demonstrate that HA-assisted delivery of viral vectors provides an atraumatic and clinically feasible method to introduce transgenes into cochlear cells, thereby enhancing both research methods and future clinical application.
Shibata and colleagues report that pre-treating the round window membrane (RWM) of the middle-ear space with hyaluronic acid (HA) leads to wider transgene expression in guinea pig cochlear cells upon adenoviral vector (Ad) delivery to the same site. HA-assisted Ad treatment on the RWM also improved thresholds of auditory function.
PMCID: PMC3300073  PMID: 22074321
12.  Cochlear Microdialysis for Quantification of Dexamethasone and Fluorescein Entry into Scala Tympani During Round Window Administration 
Hearing research  2006;212(1-2):236-244.
Before new drugs for the treatment of inner ear disorders can be studied in controlled clinical trials, it is important that their pharmacokinetics be established in inner ear fluids. Microdialysis allows drug levels to be measured in perilymph without the volume disturbances and potential cerebrospinal fluid contamination associated with fluid sampling. The aims of this study were to show: (i) that despite low recovery rates from miniature dialysis probes, significant amounts of drug are removed from small fluid compartments, (ii) that dialysis sampling artifacts can be accounted for using computer simulations and (iii) that microdialysis allows quantification of the entry rates through the round window membrane (RWM) into scala tympani (ST). Initial experiments used microdialysis probes in small compartments in vitro containing sodium fluorescein. Stable concentrations were observed in large compartments (1000 μl) but significant concentration declines were observed in smaller compartments (100, 10 and 5.6 μl) comparable to the size of the inner ear. Computer simulations of these experiments closely approximated the experimental data. In in vivo experiments, sodium fluorescein 10 mg/ml and dexamethasone-dihydrogen-phosphate disodium salt 8 mg/ml were simultaneously applied to the RWM of guinea pigs. Perilymph concentration in the basal turn of ST was monitored using microdialysis. The fluorescein concentration reached after 200 min application (585 ± 527 μg/ml) was approximately twice that of dexamethasone phosphate (291 ± 369 μg/ml). Substantial variation in concentrations was found between animals by approximately a factor of 34 for fluorescein and at least 41 for dexamethasone phosphate. This is, to a large extent, thought to be the result of the RWM permeability varying in different animals. It was not caused by substance analysis variations, because two different analytic methods were used and the concentration ratio between the two substances remained nearly constant across the experiments and because differences were apparent for the repeated samples obtained in each animal. Interpretation of the results using computer simulations allowed RWM permeability to be quantified. It also demonstrated, however, that cochlear clearance values could not be reliably obtained with microdialysis because of the significant contribution of dialysis to clearance. The observed interanimal variation, e.g., in RWM permeability, is likely to be clinically relevant to the local application of drugs in patients.
PMCID: PMC1751486  PMID: 16442251
Round window membrane; Permeability; Pharmacokinetics; Inner ear; Microdialysis; Perilymph; Drug delivery; Dexamethasone; Steroid
13.  Multifunctional polymeric nanoparticles doubly loaded with SPION and ceftiofur retain their physical and biological properties 
Advances in nanostructure materials are leading to novel strategies for drug delivery and targeting, contrast media for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), agents for hyperthermia and nanocarriers. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are useful for all of these applications, and in drug-release systems, SPIONs allow for the localization, direction and concentration of drugs, providing a broad range of therapeutic applications. In this work, we developed and characterized polymeric nanoparticles based on poly (3-hydroxybutyric acid-co-hydroxyvaleric acid) (PHBV) functionalized with SPIONs and/or the antibiotic ceftiofur. These nanoparticles can be used in multiple biomedical applications, and the hybrid SPION–ceftiofur nanoparticles (PHBV/SPION/CEF) can serve as a multifunctional platform for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and its associated bacterial infections.
Morphological examination using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed nanoparticles with a spherical shape and a core-shell structure. The particle size was evaluated using dynamic light scattering (DLS), which revealed a diameter of 243.0 ± 17 nm. The efficiency of encapsulation (45.5 ± 0.6% w/v) of these polymeric nanoparticles was high, and their components were evaluated using spectroscopy. UV–VIS, FTIR and DSC showed that all of the nanoparticles contained the desired components, and these compounds interacted to form a nanocomposite. Using the agar diffusion method and live/dead bacterial viability assays, we demonstrated that these nanoparticles have antimicrobial properties against Escherichia coli, and they retain their magnetic properties as measured using a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM). Cytotoxicity was assessed in HepG2 cells using live/dead viability assays and MTS, and these assays showed low cytotoxicity with IC50 > 10 mg/mL nanoparticles.
Our results indicate that hybrid and multifunctional PHBV/SPION/CEF nanoparticles are suitable as a superparamagnetic drug delivery system that can guide, concentrate and site–specifically release drugs with antibacterial activity.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12951-015-0077-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4334767
PHBV; SPION; Ceftiofur; Polymeric nanoparticles; Drug delivery; Superparamagnetic nanoparticles
14.  Isosorbide Concentration in Perilymph of the Guinea Pig After Oral Administration Versus That After Round Window Perfusion 
The aims of this study were to investigate the feasibility of isosorbide delivery into perilymph through the round window membrane (RWM), and to compare the intracochlear isosorbide concentration in perilymph after oral administration (PO) versus that after round window perfusion (RWP).
Sixteen male guinea pigs (32 ears) were used. Isosorbide, an osmotic diuretic, was administered via RWP or PO. First, to investigate the optimal perfusion time, perilymph sampling of scala tympani from the RWM was performed after RWP for 15, 30, or 60 minutes. Second, to compare the drug concentration after RWP versus that after PO, perilymph was aspirated at 3 and 6 hours after administration. Intracochlear concentration of isosorbide was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to refractive index detection.
Isosorbide passed through the RWM into perilymph after RWP. After RWP for 15, 30, and 60 minutes, mean isosorbide concentrations in perilymph were 116.27±44.65, 245.48±112.84, and 279.78±186.32 mM, respectively. The intracochlear concentration after RWP for 30 minutes was higher than that after RWP for 15 minutes (P=0.043). At 3 and 6 hours after PO, isosorbide concentrations in perilymph were 28.88±4.69 and 12.67±2.28 mM, respectively. In contrast, the corresponding concentrations after RWP were 117.91±17.70 and 75.03±14.82 mM at 3 and 6 hours, respectively. Isosorbide concentrations in perilymph following RWP were significantly higher than those following PO at both 3 and 6 hours (P=0.025 and P=0.034, respectively).
Isosorbide can rapidly pass through the RWM after RWP in guinea pigs, and 30 minutes of perfusion is considered to be appropriate. In addition, over a 6-hour period, RWP can deliver higher concentrations of isosorbide into perilymph than those achieved with PO.
PMCID: PMC4240485  PMID: 25436047
Isosorbide; Osmotic diuretics; Meniere disease; Round window
15.  Assessing the in Vivo Efficacy of Doxorubicin Loaded Hyaluronan Nanoparticles 
Magnetic nanoparticles are attractive platforms for biomedical applications including diagnosis and treatment of diseases. We have shown previously that hyaluronan-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (HA-SPION) enhanced the efficacy of the conjugated anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) in vitro against drug-sensitive and drug-resistant human ovarian cancer cells. In this manuscript, we report our findings on the efficacy of DOX loaded HA-SPION nanoparticles in vivo using subcutaneous and intraperitoneal SKOV-3 ovarian tumor models in nude mice. The accumulation of the nanoparticles in subcutaneous tumors following an intravenous nanoparticle administration was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging, and its distribution in the tumors was evaluated by confocal microscopy and Prussian blue staining. DOX delivered by nanoparticles accumulated at much higher levels and distributed wider in the tumor tissue than intravenously injected free DOX leading to significant reduction of tumor growth. The IVIS Spectrum for in vivo bioluminescence imaging was used to aid in therapy assessment of the DOX-loaded nanoparticles on intraperitoneal ovarian tumors formed by firefly Luciferase expressing human ovarian SKOV-3 cells. DOX-loaded HA-SPIONs significantly reduced tumor growth, delayed tumor development, and extended the survival of mice. Thus, utilizing HA-SPIONs as drug delivery vehicles constitutes a promising approach to tackle CD44 expressing ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC3912576  PMID: 24308364
CD44; Doxorubicin; drug delivery; hyaluronan; magnetic nanoparticles; ovarian cancer
16.  Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles: magnetic nanoplatforms as drug carriers 
A targeted drug delivery system is the need of the hour. Guiding magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with the help of an external magnetic field to its target is the principle behind the development of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) as novel drug delivery vehicles. SPIONs are small synthetic γ-Fe2O3 (maghemite) or Fe3O4 (magnetite) particles with a core ranging between 10 nm and 100 nm in diameter. These magnetic particles are coated with certain biocompatible polymers, such as dextran or polyethylene glycol, which provide chemical handles for the conjugation of therapeutic agents and also improve their blood distribution profile. The current research on SPIONs is opening up wide horizons for their use as diagnostic agents in magnetic resonance imaging as well as for drug delivery vehicles. Delivery of anticancer drugs by coupling with functionalized SPIONs to their targeted site is one of the most pursued areas of research in the development of cancer treatment strategies. SPIONs have also demonstrated their efficiency as nonviral gene vectors that facilitate the introduction of plasmids into the nucleus at rates multifold those of routinely available standard technologies. SPION-induced hyperthermia has also been utilized for localized killing of cancerous cells. Despite their potential biomedical application, alteration in gene expression profiles, disturbance in iron homeostasis, oxidative stress, and altered cellular responses are some SPION-related toxicological aspects which require due consideration. This review provides a comprehensive understanding of SPIONs with regard to their method of preparation, their utility as drug delivery vehicles, and some concerns which need to be resolved before they can be moved from bench top to bedside.
PMCID: PMC3405876  PMID: 22848170
superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles; SPIONs; targeted delivery; coating; functionalization; targeting ligands; toxicity
17.  Increased Cellular Uptake of Biocompatible Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles into Malignant Cells by an External Magnetic Field 
The Journal of Membrane Biology  2010;236(1):167-179.
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are used as delivery systems for different therapeutics including nucleic acids for magnetofection-mediated gene therapy. The aim of our study was to evaluate physicochemical properties, biocompatibility, cellular uptake and trafficking pathways of the custom-synthesized SPIONs for their potential use in magnetofection. Custom-synthesized SPIONs were tested for size, shape, crystalline composition and magnetic behavior using a transmission electron microscope, X-ray diffractometer and magnetometer. SPIONs were dispersed in different aqueous media to obtain ferrofluids, which were tested for pH and stability using a pH meter and zetameter. Cytotoxicity was determined using the MTS and clonogenic assays. Cellular uptake and trafficking pathways were qualitatively evaluated by transmission electron microscopy and quantitatively by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry. SPIONs were composed of an iron oxide core with a diameter of 8–9 nm, coated with a 2-nm-thick layer of silica. SPIONs, dispersed in 0.9% NaCl solution, resulted in a stable ferrofluid at physiological pH for several months. SPIONs were not cytotoxic in a broad range of concentrations and were readily internalized into different cells by endocytosis. Exposure to neodymium-iron-boron magnets significantly increased the cellular uptake of SPIONs, predominantly into malignant cells. The prepared SPIONs displayed adequate physicochemical and biomedical properties for potential use in magnetofection. Their cellular uptake was dependent on the cell type, and their accumulation within the cells was dependent on the duration of exposure to an external magnetic field.
PMCID: PMC2914263  PMID: 20602230
Superparamagnetic nanoparticles; Endocytosis; Magnetic field; Malignant cells; Internalization
18.  Fabrication of Magnetic Nanoparticles with Controllable Drug Loading and Release through a Simple Assembly Approach 
Nanoparticle-based cancer therapeutics promises to improve drug delivery safety and efficacy. However, fabrication of consistent theranostic nanoparticles with high and controllable drug loading remains a challenge, primarily due to the cumbersome, multi-step synthesis processes conventionally applied. Here, we present a simple and highly controllable method for assembly of theranostic nanoparticles, which may greatly reduce batch-to-batch variation. The major components of this nanoparticle system include a superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPION), a biodegradable and pH-sensitive poly (beta-amino ester) (PBAE) copolymer, a chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin (DOX). Here the polymer pre-loaded with drug is directly assembled to the surface of SPIONs forming a drug loaded nanoparticle (NP-DOX). NP-DOX demonstrated a high drug loading efficiency of 679 µg DOX per mg iron, sustained stability in cell culture media up to 7 days, and a strong r2 relaxivity of 146 mM−1•s−1 for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The drug release analysis of NP-DOX showed fast DOX release at pH 5.5 and 6.4 (as in endosomal environment) and slow release at pH 7.4 (physiological condition), demonstrating pH-sensitive drug release kinetics. In vitro evaluation of NP-DOX efficacy using drug-resistant C6 glioma cells showed a 300% increase in cellular internalization at 24 h post-treatment and 65% reduction of IC50 at 72 h post-treatment when compared to free DOX. These nanoparticles could serve as a foundation for building smart theranostic formulations for sensitive detection through MRI and effective treatment of cancer by controlled drug release.
PMCID: PMC3422574  PMID: 22735239
Drug Delivery; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Nanoparticles; Theranostics
19.  Site-specific targeting of platelet-rich plasma via superparamagnetic nanoparticles 
Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine  2015;3(1):10.1177/2325967114566185.
Muscle strains are one of the most common injuries treated by physicians. Standard conservative therapy for acute muscle strains usually involves short-term rest, ice, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, but there is no clear consensus regarding treatments to accelerate recovery. Recently, clinical use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has gained momentum as an option for therapy and is appealing for many reasons, most notably because it provides growth factors in physiological proportions and it is autologous, safe, easily accessible, and potentially beneficial. Local delivery of patients’ PRP to injured muscles can hasten recovery of function. However, specific targeting of PRP to sites of tissue damage in vivo is a major challenge that can limit its efficacy.
Location of PRP delivery can be monitored and controlled in vivo with non-invasive tools.
Study Design
Controlled laboratory study using rats.
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) can be visualized by both MRI (in vivo) and fluorescence microscopy (after tissue harvesting). We labeled PRP with SPIONs and administered intramuscular injections of SPION-containing platelets. MRI was used to monitor the ability to manipulate and retain the location of PRP in vivo by placement of an external magnet. Platelets were isolated from whole blood and incubated with SPIONs. Following SPION incubation with PRP, a magnetic field was used to manipulate platelet location in culture dishes. In vivo, the tibialis anterior muscles (TAs) of anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with SPION-containing platelets and MRI was used to track platelet position with and without a magnet worn over the TAs for 4 days.
The method used to isolate PRP yielded a high concentration (almost 4-fold increase) of platelets. In vitro experiments show that the platelets successfully took up SPIONs and then rapidly responded to an applied magnetic field. Platelets without SPIONs did not respond to the magnetic field. In vivo experiments show that the SPION-containing platelets can be non-invasively maintained at a specific site with the application of a magnetic field.
PRP may be a useful product in clinical treatment of muscle injuries, but one problem with using PRP as a therapeutic tool, is retaining PRP at the site of injury. We propose a potential solution with our findings that support this method at the cell, whole muscle, and in vivo levels. Controlling the location of PRP will allow the clustering of PRP to enrich the target area with growth factors and will prevent loss of the platelets over time at the site of injury.
PMCID: PMC4316754
injury; muscle strain; muscle damage; nanoparticles; MRI
20.  Subtle cytotoxicity and genotoxicity differences in superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles coated with various functional groups 
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have been widely utilized for the diagnosis and therapy of specific diseases, as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents and drug-delivery carriers, due to their easy transportation to targeted areas by an external magnetic field. For such biomedical applications, SPIONs must have multifunctional characteristics, including optimized size and modified surface. However, the biofunctionality and biocompatibility of SPIONs with various surface functional groups of different sizes have yet to be elucidated clearly. Therefore, it is important to carefully monitor the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of SPIONs that are surfaced-modified with various functional groups of different sizes. In this study, we evaluated SPIONs with diameters of approximately 10 nm and 100~150 nm, containing different surface functional groups. SPIONs were covered with −O− groups, so-called bare SPIONs. Following this, they were modified with three different functional groups – hydroxyl (−OH), carboxylic (−COOH), and amine (−NH2) groups – by coating their surfaces with tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS), (3-aminopropyl)trimethoxysilane (APTMS), TEOS-APTMS, or citrate, which imparted different surface charges and sizes to the particles. The effects of SPIONs coated with these functional groups on mitochondrial activity, intracellular accumulation of reactive oxygen species, membrane integrity, and DNA stability in L-929 fibroblasts were determined by water-soluble tetrazolium, 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein, lactate dehydrogenase, and comet assays, respectively. Our toxicological observations suggest that the functional groups and sizes of SPIONs are critical determinants of cellular responses, degrees of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity, and potential mechanisms of toxicity. Nanoparticles with various surface modifications and of different sizes induced slight, but possibly meaningful, changes in cell cytotoxicity and genotoxicity, which would be significantly valuable in further studies of bioconjugation and cell interaction for drug delivery, cell culture, and cancer-targeting applications.
PMCID: PMC3254266  PMID: 22238510
superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles; surface functional groups; cytotoxicity; genotoxicity
21.  Synthesis, characterization and in vitro studies of doxorubicin-loaded magnetic nanoparticles grafted to smart copolymers on A549 lung cancer cell line 
The aim of present study was to develop the novel methods for chemical and physical modification of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) with polymers via covalent bonding entrapment. These modified SPIONs were used for encapsulation of anticancer drug doxorubicin.
At first approach silane–grafted magnetic nanoparticles was prepared and used as a template for polymerization of the N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) and methacrylic acid (MAA) via radical polymerization. This temperature/pH-sensitive copolymer was used for preparation of DOX–loaded magnetic nanocomposites. At second approach Vinyltriethoxysilane-grafted magnetic nanoparticles were used as a template to polymerize PNIPAAm-MAA in 1, 4 dioxan and methylene-bis-acrylamide (BIS) was used as a cross-linking agent. Chemical composition and magnetic properties of Dox–loaded magnetic hydrogel nanocomposites were analyzed by FT-IR, XRD, and VSM.
The results demonstrate the feasibility of drug encapsulation of the magnetic nanoparticles with NIPAAm–MAA copolymer via covalent bonding. The key factors for the successful prepardtion of magnetic nanocomposites were the structure of copolymer (linear or cross-linked), concentration of copolymer and concentration of drug. The influence of pH and temperature on the release profile of doxorubicin was examined. The in vitro cytotoxicity test (MTT assay) of both magnetic DOx–loaded nanoparticles was examined. The in vitro tests showed that these systems are no toxicity and are biocompatible.
IC50 of DOx–loaded Fe3O4 nanoparticles on A549 lung cancer cell line showed that systems could be useful in treatment of lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC3605180  PMID: 23244711
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs); Drug loading efficiency; Radical polymerization; N-Isopropylacrylamide-methyl metacrylc acid (NIPAAm-MAA)
22.  Magnetically retainable microparticles for drug delivery to the joint: efficacy studies in an antigen-induced arthritis model in mice 
Conventional corticosteroid suspensions for the intra-articular treatment of arthritis suffer from limitations such as crystal formation or rapid clearance from the joint. The purpose of this study was to investigate an innovative alternative consisting of corticosteroid encapsulation into magnetically retainable microparticles.
Microparticles (1 or 10 μm) containing both superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) and dexamethasone 21-acetate (DXM) were prepared. In a preliminary study, we compared the persistence of microparticles of both sizes in the joint. A second study evaluated the influence of a subcutaneously implanted magnet near the knee on the retention of magnetic microparticles in the joint by in vivo imaging. Finally, the efficacy of 10-μm microparticles was investigated using a model of antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) in mice. Phosphate-buffered saline, DXM suspension, SPION suspension, blank microparticles and microparticles containing only SPIONs were used as controls. Arthritis severity was assessed using 99mTc accumulation and histological scoring.
Due to their capacity of encapsulating more corticosteroid and their increased joint retention, the 10-μm microparticles were more suitable vectors than the 1-μm microparticles for corticosteroid delivery to the joint. The presence of a magnet resulted in higher magnetic retention in the joint, as demonstrated by a higher fluorescence signal. The therapeutic efficacy in AIA of 10-μm microparticles containing DXM and SPIONs was similar to that of the DXM suspension, proving that the bioactive agent is released. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory effect of DXM-containing microparticles was more important than that of blank microparticles or microparticles containing only SPIONs. The presence of a magnet did not induce a greater inflammatory reaction.
This study confirms the effectiveness of an innovative approach of using magnetically retainable microparticles as intra-articular drug delivery systems. A major advantage comes from a versatile polymer matrix, which allows the encapsulation of many classes of therapeutic agents (for example, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors), which may reduce systemic side effects.
PMCID: PMC2714118  PMID: 19454011
23.  Development and characterization of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with a cisplatin-bearing polymer coating for targeted drug delivery 
A highly selective and efficient cancer therapy can be achieved using magnetically directed superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) bearing a sufficient amount of the therapeutic agent. In this project, SPIONs with a dextran and cisplatin-bearing hyaluronic acid coating were successfully synthesized as a novel cisplatin drug delivery system. Transmission electron microscopy images as well as X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the individual magnetite particles were around 4.5 nm in size and monocrystalline. The small crystallite sizes led to the superparamagnetic behavior of the particles, which was exemplified in their magnetization curves, acquired using superconducting quantum interference device measurements. Hyaluronic acid was bound to the initially dextran-coated SPIONs by esterification. The resulting amide bond linkage was verified using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The additional polymer layer increased the vehicle size from 22 nm to 56 nm, with a hyaluronic acid to dextran to magnetite weight ratio of 51:29:20. A maximum payload of 330 μg cisplatin/mL nanoparticle suspension was achieved, thus the particle size was further increased to around 77 nm with a zeta potential of −45 mV. No signs of particle precipitation were observed over a period of at least 8 weeks. Analysis of drug-release kinetics using the dialysis tube method revealed that these were driven by inverse ligand substitution and diffusion through the polymer shell as well as enzymatic degradation of hyaluronic acid. The biological activity of the particles was investigated in a nonadherent Jurkat cell line using flow cytometry. Further, cell viability and proliferation was examined in an adherent PC-3 cell line using xCELLigence analysis. Both tests demonstrated that particles without cisplatin were biocompatible with these cells, whereas particles with the drug induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner, with secondary necrosis after prolonged incubation. In conclusion, combination of dextran-coated SPIONs with hyaluronic acid and cisplatin represents a promising approach for magnetic drug targeting in the treatment of cancer.
Video abstract
PMCID: PMC4128796  PMID: 25120363
magnetic drug targeting; superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles; dextran; hyaluronic acid
24.  Prostate stem cell antigen-targeted nanoparticles with dual functional properties: in vivo imaging and cancer chemotherapy 
We designed dual-functional nanoparticles for in vivo application using a modified electrostatic and covalent layer-by-layer assembly strategy to address the challenge of assessment and treatment of hormone-refractory prostate cancer.
Core-shell nanoparticles were formulated by integrating three distinct functional components, ie, a core constituted by poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid), docetaxel, and hydrophobic superparamagnetic iron oxide nanocrystals (SPIONs), a multilayer shell formed by poly(allylamine hydrochloride) and two different sized poly(ethylene glycol) molecules, and a single-chain prostate stem cell antigen antibody conjugated to the nanoparticle surface for targeted delivery.
Drug release profiles indicated that the dual-function nanoparticles had a sustained release pattern over 764 hours, and SPIONs could facilitate the controlled release of the drug in vitro. The nanoparticles showed increased antitumor efficiency and enhanced magnetic resonance imaging in vitro through targeted delivery of docetaxel and SPIONs to PC3M cells. Moreover, in nude mice bearing PC3M xenografts, the nanoparticles provided MRI negative contrast enhancement, as well as halting and even reversing tumor growth during the 76-day study duration, and without significant systemic toxicity. The lifespan of the mice treated with these targeted dual-function nanoparticles was significantly increased (Chi-square = 22.514, P < 0.0001).
This dual-function nanomedical platform may be a promising candidate for tumor imaging and targeted delivery of chemotherapeutic agents in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3415325  PMID: 22888241
nanoparticle; prostate cancer; targeting; chemotherapy; imaging
25.  MRI of Breast Tumor Initiating Cells Using the Extra Domain-B of Fibronectin Targeting Nanoparticles 
Theranostics  2014;4(8):845-857.
The identification of breast tumor initiating cells (BTICs) is important for the diagnosis and therapy of breast cancers. This study was undertaken to evaluate whether the extra domain-B of fibronectin (EDB-FN) could be used as a new biomarker for BTICs and whether EDB-FN targeting superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) could be used as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent for BTIC imaging in vitro and in vivo. BTICs (NDY-1) exhibited high EDB-FN expression, whereas non-BTICs (MCF-7, BT-474, SUM-225, MDA-MB-231) did not exhibit EDB-FN expression. Furthermore, Cy3.3-labeled EDB-FN specific peptides (APTEDB) showed preferential binding to the targeted NDY-1 cells. To construct an EDB-FN targeted imaging probe, APTEDB was covalently attached to a thermally cross-linked SPION (TCL-SPION) to yield APTEDB-TCL-SPION. In the in vitro MRI of cell phantoms, selective binding of APTEDB-TCL-SPION to NDY-1 cells was evident, but little binding was observed in MCF-7 cells. After the intravenous injection of APTEDB-TCL-SPION into the NDY-1 mouse tumor xenograft model, a significant decrease in the signal within the tumor was observed in the T2*-weighted images; however, there was only a marginal change in the signal of non-targeting SPIONs such as APTscramble-TCL-SPION or TCL-SPION. Taken together, we report for the first time that EDB-FN was abundantly expressed in BTICs and may therefore be useful as a new biomarker for identifying BTICs. Our study also suggests that APTEDB-TCL-SPION could be used as an MRI contrast agent for BTIC imaging.
PMCID: PMC4063982  PMID: 24955145
Breast tumor initiating cells; Extra domain-B of fibronectin; Aptides; Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles; Magnetic resonance imaging.

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