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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.  Microperforations Significantly Enhance Diffusion Across Round Window Membrane 
Introduction of microperforations in round window membrane (RWM) will allow reliable and predictable intracochlear delivery of pharmaceutical, molecular or cellular therapeutic agents.
Reliable delivery of medications into the inner ear remains a formidable challenge. The RWM is an attractive target for intracochlear delivery. However, simple diffusion across intact RWM is limited by what material can be delivered, size of material to be delivered, difficulty with precise dosing, timing, and precision of delivery over time. Further, absence of reliable methods for measuring diffusion across RWM in vitro is a significant experimental impediment.
A novel model for measuring diffusion across guinea pig RWM, with and without microperforation, was developed and tested: cochleae, sparing the RWM, were embedded in 3D-printed acrylic holders using hybrid dental composite and light cured to adapt the round window niche to 3ml Franz diffusion cells. Perforations were created with 12.5μm diameter needles and examined with light microscopy. Diffusion of 1mM Rhodamine B across RWM in static diffusion cells was measured via fluorescence microscopy.
The diffusion cell apparatus provided reliable and replicable measurements of diffusion across RWM. The permeability of Rhodamine B across intact RWM was 5.1 × 10-9 m/s. Manual application of microperforation with a 12.5μm diameter tip produced an elliptical tear removing 0.22±0.07% of the membrane and was associated with a 35x enhancement in diffusion (p<0.05).
Diffusion cells can be applied to the study of RWM permeability in vitro. Microperforation in RWM is an effective means of increasing diffusion across the RWM.
PMCID: PMC4359065  PMID: 25310125
Franz™ diffusion cells; inner ear delivery; methodology; Round Window Membrane; Pharmacokinetics
4.  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
5.  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)
6.  A single dose of dexamethasone encapsulated in polyethylene glycol-coated polylactic acid nanoparticles attenuates cisplatin-induced hearing loss following round window membrane administration 
This study aimed to investigate the sustained drug release properties and hearing protection effect of polyethylene glycol-coated polylactic acid (PEG-PLA) stealth nanoparticles loaded with dexamethasone (DEX). DEX was fabricated into PEG-PLA nanoparticles using an emulsion and evaporation technique, as previously reported. The DEX-loaded PEG-PLA nanoparticles (DEX-NPs) had a hydrodynamic diameter of 130±4.78 nm, and a zeta potential of −26.13±3.28 mV. The in vitro release of DEX from DEX-NPs lasted 24 days in phosphate buffered saline (pH 7.4), 5 days in artificial perilymph (pH 7.4), and 1 day in rat plasma. Coumarin 6-labeled NPs placed onto the round window membrane (RWM) of guinea pigs penetrated RWM quickly and accumulated to the organs of Corti, stria vascularis, and spiral ganglion cells after 1 hour of administration. The DEX-NPs locally applied onto the RWM of guinea pigs by a single-dose administration continuously released DEX in 48 hours, which was significantly longer than the free DEX that was cleared out within 12 hours after administration at the same dose. Further functional studies showed that locally administrated single-dose DEX-NPs effectively preserved outer hair cells in guinea pigs after cisplatin insult and thus significantly attenuated hearing loss at 4 kHz and 8 kHz frequencies when compared to the control of free DEX formulation. Histological analyses indicated that the administration of DEX-NPs did not induce local inflammatory responses. Therefore, prolonged delivery of DEX by PEG-PLA nanoparticles through local RWM diffusion (administration) significantly protected the hair cells and auditory function in guinea pigs from cisplatin toxicity, as determined at both histological and functional levels, suggesting the potential therapeutic benefits in clinical applications.
PMCID: PMC4437605  PMID: 25999718
stealth nanoparticles; dexamethasone; single-dose administration; cisplatin-induced hearing loss
7.  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
8.  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
9.  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
10.  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
11.  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
12.  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.
13.  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
14.  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
15.  Measurement of Basilar Membrane Motion During Round Window Stimulation in Guinea Pigs 
Driving the cochlea in reverse via the round window membrane (RWM) is an alternative treatment option for the hearing rehabilitation of a nonfunctional or malformed middle ear. However, cochlear stimulation from the RWM side is not a normal sound transmission pathway. The basilar membrane (BM) motion elicited by mechanical stimulation of the RWM is unknown. In this study, the BM movement at the basal turn was investigated in both reverse via RWM drive and acoustic stimulation in the ear canal or forward drive in postmortem isolated temporal bone preparations of guinea pigs. During reverse drive, a magnet-coil was coupled on RWM, and the BM vibration at the basal turn and the movement of the incus tip were measured with laser Doppler vibrometry. During forward drive, the vibration of the incus tip induced by sound pressure in the ear canal resulted in BM vibration and the BM movement at the same location as that in the reverse stimulation was measured. The displacement ratio of the BM to RWM in reverse drive and the ratio of the BM to incus in forward drive were compared. The results demonstrated that the BM response measured in both situations was similar in nature between forward and reverse drives. This study provides new knowledge for an understanding of BM movement induced by reverse drive via the RWM stimulation.
PMCID: PMC4389955  PMID: 25080894
round window driving; basilar membrane; laser doppler vibrometry; middle ear implantable device
Neuro-Oncology  2014;16(Suppl 2):ii16.
Superparamagnetic nanoparticles (SPIONs) due to their unique properties could be applied for theranostic approach in neuro-oncology. Accumulation and retention of the nanoparticles in the tumour can be directly imaged by MRI proving its application as contrast agents. Due to high heating capacity SPIONs could also be applied for thermotherapy of brain tumours. To further increase the biocompatibility and targeted delivery of SPIONs we have functionalized the surface of particles with recombinant heat shock protein Hsp70. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra and magnetic relaxation times of the synthesized conjugates T1, T2, T2* were measured with the help of an NMR spectrometer (CXP-300, Bruker) in a magnetic field of 7.1 T. Hsp70-SPIONs relaxivity corresponded to the properties of negative contrast agents with a hypointensive change of resonance signal in MR imaging. In series of in vitro experiments we observed enhanced internalization of the SPION-Hsp70 conjugates by C6 glioma cells in comparison to control SPIONs. The contrast-enhancing ability of SPION-Hsp70 conjugates was analyzed in the model of intracranial C6 glioma in rodents. The rat images were acquired with the help of a Bruker Avance II NMR spectrometer equipped with a microtomographic accessory at a magnetic field of 11 T. In vivo analysis of the conjugates distribution in the model of intracranial glioma revealed the retention of the functionilzed particles inside the tumour site. Negative contrast tumor enhancement in the T2-weighted MR images was higher in the case of Hsp70-SPIONs in comparison to non-modified SPIONs. Histological analysis of the brain sections confirmed the retention of the Hsp70-SPIONs in the glioma tumor but not in the adjacent normal brain tissues. Immunofluoresence studies confirmed that retention in the glioma of nanoparticles was due to the receptor-mediated endocytosis of the SPION-Hsp70 conjugates via the CD40 receptors. The uptake of SPION-Hsp70 by tumour cells permitted MRI contrast enhancement after systemic delivery while sparring surrounding normal brain tissues.
PMCID: PMC4185825
17.  Magnetic resonance and ultrasound contrast imaging of polymer-shelled microbubbles loaded with iron oxide nanoparticles 
Royal Society Open Science  2016;3(8):160063.
Dual-mode contrast agents (CAs) have great potential for improving diagnostics. However, the effectiveness of CAs is strictly related to both the solution adopted to merge the two agents into a single probe unit, and the ratio between the two agents. In this study, two dual-mode CAs for simultaneous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound imaging (UI) were assessed. For this purpose, different densities of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) were anchored to the external surface of polymer-shelled microbubbles (MBs) or were physically entrapped into the shell. In vitro static and dynamic experiments were carried out with a limited concentration of modified MBs (106 bubbles ml−1) by avoiding destruction during UI (performed at a peak pressure lower than 320 kPa) and by using a low-field MRI system (with a magnetic flux density equal to 0.25 T). Under these conditions, different imaging techniques, set-up parameters and SPION densities were used to achieve satisfactory detection of the CAs by using both UI and MRI. However, when the SPION density was increased, the MRI contrast improved, whereas the UI contrast worsened due to the reduced elasticity of the MB shell. For both UI and MRI, MBs with externally anchored SPIONs provided better performance than MBs with SPIONs entrapped into the shell. In particular, a SPION density of 29% with respect to the mass of the MBs was successfully tested.
PMCID: PMC5108937  PMID: 27853587
medical ultrasound; magnetic resonance imaging; dual-mode contrast agents; superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles; polymeric microbubbles
18.  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
19.  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  PMID: 25886018
PHBV; SPION; Ceftiofur; Polymeric nanoparticles; Drug delivery; Superparamagnetic nanoparticles
20.  Dynamic Magnetic Fields Remote-Control Apoptosis via Nanoparticle Rotation 
ACS Nano  2014;8(4):3192-3201.
The ability to control the movement of nanoparticles remotely and with high precision would have far-reaching implications in many areas of nanotechnology. We have designed a unique dynamic magnetic field (DMF) generator that can induce rotational movements of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs). We examined whether the rotational nanoparticle movement could be used for remote induction of cell death by injuring lysosomal membrane structures. We further hypothesized that the shear forces created by the generation of oscillatory torques (incomplete rotation) of SPIONs bound to lysosomal membranes would cause membrane permeabilization, lead to extravasation of lysosomal contents into the cytoplasm, and induce apoptosis. To this end, we covalently conjugated SPIONs with antibodies targeting the lysosomal protein marker LAMP1 (LAMP1-SPION). Remote activation of slow rotation of LAMP1-SPIONs significantly improved the efficacy of cellular internalization of the nanoparticles. LAMP1-SPIONs then preferentially accumulated along the membrane in lysosomes in both rat insulinoma tumor cells and human pancreatic beta cells due to binding of LAMP1-SPIONs to endogenous LAMP1. Further activation of torques by the LAMP1-SPIONs bound to lysosomes resulted in rapid decrease in size and number of lysosomes, attributable to tearing of the lysosomal membrane by the shear force of the rotationally activated LAMP1-SPIONs. This remote activation resulted in an increased expression of early and late apoptotic markers and impaired cell growth. Our findings suggest that DMF treatment of lysosome-targeted nanoparticles offers a noninvasive tool to induce apoptosis remotely and could serve as an important platform technology for a wide range of biomedical applications.
PMCID: PMC4004315  PMID: 24597847
dynamic magnetic field; nanoparticle rotation; iron oxide; magnetic nanoparticles; lysosomes; antibody; LAMP1; permeabilization; apoptosis
21.  A Novel Chitosan-Hydrogel-Based Nanoparticle Delivery System for Local Inner Ear Application 
A chitosan-hydrogel-based nanoparticle (nanohydrogel) delivery system can be used to deliver therapeutic biomaterials across the round window membrane (RWM) into the inner ear in a mouse model.
Delivering therapies to the inner ear has always been a challenge for the Otolaryngologist. Advances in biomedical nanotechnology, increased understanding of the RWM diffusion properties, and discovery of novel therapeutic targets and agents, have all sparked interest in the controlled local delivery of drugs and biomaterials to the inner ear using nanoparticles (NPs).
Fluorescently-labeled liposomal NPs were constructed and loaded into a chitosan-based hydrogel to form a nanohydrogel, and in vitro studies were performed to evaluate its properties and release kinetics. Furthermore, the nanohydrogel was applied to the RWM of mice, and perilymph and morphologic analysis were performed to assess the NP delivery and distribution within the inner ear.
NPs with an average diameter of 160nm were obtained. In vitro experiments showed that liposomal NPs can persist under physiologic conditions for at least two weeks without significant degradation, and that the nanohydrogel can carry and release these NPs in a controlled and sustained manner. In vivo findings demonstrated that the nanohydrogel can deliver intact nanoparticles into the perilymphatic system and reach cellular structures in the scala media of the inner ear of our mouse model.
Our study suggests that the nanohydrogel system has great potential to deliver therapeutics in a controlled and sustained manner from the middle ear to the inner ear without altering inner ear structures.
PMCID: PMC4365436  PMID: 25587675
22.  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
23.  The impact of polymer coatings on magnetite nanoparticles performance as MRI contrast agents: a comparative study 
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are the most commonly used negative MRI contrast agent which affect the transverse (T2) relaxation time. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of various polymeric coatings on the performance of magnetite nanoparticles as MRI contrast agents.
Ferrofluids based on magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles (SPIONs) were synthesized via chemical co-precipitation method and coated with different biocompatible polymer coatings including mPEG-PCL, chitosan and dextran.
The bonding status of different polymers on the surface of the magnetite nanoparticles was confirmed by the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) analysis confirmed the superparamagnetic behavior of all synthesized nanoparticles. The field–emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) indicated the formation of quasi-spherical nanostructures with the final average particle size of 12–55 nm depending on the type of polymer coating, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) determined inverse spinel structure of magnetite nanoparticles. The ferrofluids demonstrated sufficient colloidal stability in deionized water with the zeta potentials of −24.2, −16.9, +31.6 and −21 mV for the naked SPIONs, and for dextran, chitosan and mPEG-PCL coated SPIONs, respectively. Finally, the magnetic relaxivities of water based ferrofluids were measured on a 1.5T clinical MRI instrument. The r2/r1 value was calculated to be 17.21, 19.42 and 20.71 for the dextran, chitosan and mPEG-PCL coated SPIONs, respectively.
The findings demonstrated that the value of r2/r1 ratio of mPEG-PCL modified SPIONs is higher than that of some commercial contrast agents. Therefore, it can be considered as a promising candidate for T2 MRI contrast agent.
PMCID: PMC4574187  PMID: 26381740
24.  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
25.  Site-Specific Targeting of Platelet-Rich Plasma via Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles 
Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine  2015;3(1):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 nonsteroidal 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 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 noninvasive tools.
Study Design:
Controlled laboratory study.
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) can be visualized by both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (in vivo) and fluorescence microscopy (after tissue harvesting). PRP was labeled with SPIONs and administered by 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 (TA) muscles 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 TA muscles for 4 days.
The method used to isolate PRP yielded a high concentration (almost 4-fold increase) of platelets. In vitro experiments showed 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 showed that the SPION-containing platelets can be noninvasively maintained at a specific site with the application of a magnetic field.
PRP may be a useful product in the clinical treatment of muscle injuries, but one problem with using it as a therapeutic tool is retaining PRP at the site of injury. This study proposes a potential solution, with 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 platelets over time at the site of injury.
PMCID: PMC4316754  PMID: 25664326
injury; muscle strain; muscle damage; nanoparticles; MRI

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