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1.  Lymphatic trafficking kinetics and near-infrared imaging using star polymer architectures with controlled anionic character 
Targeted lymphatic delivery of nanoparticles for drug delivery and imaging is primarily dependent on size and charge. Prior studies have observed increased lymphatic uptake and retentions of over 48 hrs for negatively charged particles compared to neutral and positively charged particles. We have developed new polymeric materials that extend retention over a more pharmaceutically relevant 7-day period. We used whole body fluorescence imaging to observe in mice the lymphatic trafficking of a series of anionic star poly-(6-O-methacryloyl-D-galactose) polymer-NIR dye (IR820) conjugates. The anionic charge of polymers was increased by modifying galactose moieties in the star polymers with succinic anhydride. Increasing anionic nature was associated with enhanced lymphatic uptake up to a zeta potential of ca. -40 mV; further negative charge did not affect lymphatic uptake. Compared to the 20% acid-conjugate, the 40 to 90% acid-star-polymer conjugates exhibited a 2.5- to 3.5-fold increase in lymphatic uptake in both the popliteal and iliac nodes. The polymer conjugates exhibited node half-lives of 2 to 20 hrs in the popliteal nodes and 19 to 114 hrs in the deeper iliac nodes. These polymer conjugates can deliver drugs or imaging agents with rapid lymphatic uptake and prolonged deep-nodal retention; thus they may provide a useful vehicle for sustained intralymphatic drug delivery with low toxicity.
PMCID: PMC4301975  PMID: 22546180
Lymphatics; imaging; polymer trafficking
2.  Photoacoustic contrast imaging of biological tissues with nanodiamonds fabricated for high near-infrared absorbance 
Journal of Biomedical Optics  2013;18(2):026018.
Radiation-damaged nanodiamonds (DNDs) are potentially ideal optical contrast agents for photoacoustic (PA) imaging in biological tissues due to their low toxicity and high optical absorbance. PA imaging contrast agents have been limited to quantum dots and gold particles, since most existing carbon-based nanoparticles, including fluorescent nanodiamonds, do not have sufficient optical absorption in the near-infrared (NIR) range. A new DND by He+ ion beam irradiation with very high NIR absorption was synthesized. These DNDs produced a 71-fold higher PA signal on a molar basis than similarly dimensioned gold nanorods, and 7.1 fmol of DNDs injected into rodents could be clearly imaged 3 mm below the skin surface with PA signal enhancement of 567% using an 820-nm laser wavelength.
PMCID: PMC3569583  PMID: 23400417
photoacoustic imaging; nanodiamonds; Au nanorods; optical contrast agent
3.  Efficacy and Toxicity of Peritumoral Delivery of Nanoconjugated Cisplatin in an In Vivo Murine Model of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
Treatment of locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) uses a multi-disciplinary approach often limited by the toxicity and drug resistance of platinum agents.
To test whether a nanocarrier-conjugated cisplatin boosting locoregional drug delivery improves tumor efficacy while decreasing systemic toxicity over systemic cisplatin in a murine model of locally advanced HNSCC.
A randomized, controlled, in vivo study compared standard cisplatin with nanocarrier (hyaluronan [HA])–conjugated cisplatin (HA-cisplatin) each at 50% of the maximum tolerated doses in a murine model of locally advanced HNSCC (10 mice/arm, each injected with 1 × 106 MDA-1986 HNSCC cells, with phosphate-buffered saline and HA-only control arms). Mice were treated for 3 weeks and observed for 3 additional weeks.
Academic medical center.
Forty female Nu/Nu mice. Randomization and treatment arms were initiated once tumor volumes reached 30 mm3.
Injection with MDA-1986 HNSCC cells followed by 3 weeks of treatment with cisplatin, HA-cisplatin, phosphate-buffered saline, or HA only.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Animal weights and tumor volumes were measured 3 times each week (modified RECIST [Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors]). At necropsy, animal kidneys were examined for nephrotoxic effects and cochleae were examined for ototoxic effects.
The mice treated with HA-cisplatin showed superior tumor efficacy (1 with complete clinical response, 3 with partial response, 1 with stable disease, and 5 with progressive disease) compared with standard cisplatin (no animals with complete clinical response, 1 with partial response, 1 with stable disease, and 8 with progressive disease), which was statistically significant (P=.003). All control animals developed progressive disease. Weight loss and body score were surrogate measures of treatment toxicity. The HA-cisplatin group had the least weight loss (mean [SD], 10.8% [4.7%]) compared with the cisplatin group (13.6% [5.6%]; P=.25). Body score dropped to 2 or less in all cisplatin-treated mice but not in any HA-cisplatin–treated mice, which also lacked any histologic signs of nephrotoxic or ototoxic effects.
Conclusions and Relevance
Nanoconjugated HA-cisplatin significantly improves tumor efficacy with lower toxicity compared with standard cisplatin in locally advanced HNSCC in vivo, justifying additional translational studies.
PMCID: PMC4306558  PMID: 23599074
4.  In vivo photoacoustic imaging of breast cancer tumor with HER2-targeted nanodiamonds 
Radiation-damaged nanodiamonds (NDs) are ideal optical contrast agents for photoacoustic (PA) imaging in biological tissues due to their good biocompatibility and high optical absorbance in the near-infrared (NIR) range. Acid treated NDs are oxidized to form carboxyl groups on the surface, functionalized with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) targeting ligand for breast cancer tumor imaging. Because of the specific binding of the ligand conjugated NDs to the HER2-overexpressing murine breast cancer cells (4T1.2 neu), the tumor tissues are significantly delineated from the surrounding normal tissue at wavelength of 820 nm under the PA imaging modality. Moreover, HER2 targeted NDs (HER2-PEG-NDs) result in higher accumulation in HER2 positive breast tumors as compared to non-targeted NDs after intravenous injection (i.v.). Longer retention time of HER-PEG-NDs is observed in HER2 overexpressing tumor model than that in negative tumor model (4T1.2). This demonstrates that targeting moiety conjugated NDs have great potential for the sensitive detection of cancer tumors and provide an attractive delivery strategy for anti-cancer drugs.
PMCID: PMC4302273  PMID: 25620857
Nanodiamond; Photoacoustic Imaging; Breast Cancer; HER2
5.  Prodrug Strategy for PSMA-targeted Delivery of TGX-221 to Prostate Cancer Cells 
Molecular pharmaceutics  2012;9(6):1705-1716.
TGX-221 is a potent, selective, and cell membrane permeable inhibitor of the PI3K p110β catalytic subunit. Recent studies showed that TGX-221 has anti-proliferative activity against PTEN-deficient tumor cell lines including prostate cancers. The objective of this study was to develop an encapsulation system for parenterally delivering TGX-221 to the target tissue through a prostate-specific membrane aptamer (PSMAa10) with little or no side effects. In this study, PEG-PCL micelles were formulated to encapsulate the drug, and a prodrug strategy was pursued to improve the stability of the carrier system. Fluorescence imaging studies demonstrated that the cellular uptake of both drug and nanoparticles were significantly improved by targeted micelles in a PSMA positive cell line. The area under the plasma concentration time curve of the micelle formulation in nude mice was 2.27-fold greater than the naked drug, and the drug clearance rate was 17.5-fold slower. These findings suggest a novel formulation approach for improving site-specific drug delivery of a molecular-targeted prostate cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC3601665  PMID: 22494444
PEG-PCL micelle; TGX-221; PSMA; target delivery
6.  Advances in Lymphatic Imaging and Drug Delivery 
Advanced drug delivery reviews  2011;63(10-11):876-885.
Cancer remains the second leading cause of death after heart disease in the US. While metastasized cancers such as breast, prostate, and colon are incurable, before their distant spread, these diseases will have invaded the lymphatic system as a first step in their progression. Hence, proper evaluation of the disease state of the lymphatics which drain a tumor site is crucial to staging and the formation of a treatment plan. Current lymphatic imaging modalities with visible dyes and radionucleotide tracers offer limited sensitivity and poor resolution; however, newer tools using nanocarriers, quantum dots, and magnetic resonance imaging promise to vastly improve the staging of lymphatic spread without needless biopsies. Concurrent with the improvement of lymphatic imaging agents, has been the development of drug carriers that can localize chemotherapy to the lymphatic system, thus improving the treatment of localized disease while minimizing the exposure of healthy organs to cytotoxic drugs. This review will focus on the use of various nanoparticulate and polymeric systems that have been developed for imaging and drug delivery to the lymph system, how these new devices improve upon current technologies, and where further improvement is needed.
PMCID: PMC3164439  PMID: 21718728
drug delivery; polymeric carriers; lymphatic system; sentinel lymph nodes; quantum dots; dendrimers
7.  Alkyne- and 1,6-elimination- succinimidyl carbonate – terminated heterobifunctional poly(ethylene glycol) for reversible "Click" PEGylation 
Drug discoveries & therapeutics  2010;4(4):240-245.
A new heterobifunctional (succinimidyl carbonate, SC)-activated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) with a reversible 1,6-elimination linker and a terminal alkyne for "click" chemistry was synthesized with high efficiency and low polydispersity. The α-alkyne-ω-hydroxyl PEG was first prepared using trimethylsilyl-2-propargyl alcohol as an initiator for ring-opening polymerization of ethylene oxide followed by mild deprotection with tetrabutylammonium fluoride. The hydroxy end was then modified with diglycolic anhydride to generate α-alkyne-ω-carboxylic acid PEG. The reversible 1, 6-elimination linker was introduced by conjugation of a hydroxymethyl phenol followed by activation with N,N'-disuccinimidyl carbonate to generate the heterobifunctional α-alkyne-ω-SC PEG. The terminal alkyne is available for "click" conjugation to azido ligands via 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition, and the succinimidyl carbonate will form a reversible conjugate to amines (e.g. in proteins) that can release the unaltered amine after base or enzyme catalyzed cleavage of the 1,6-linker.
PMCID: PMC3178183  PMID: 21949558
PEGylation; heterobifunctional PEG
8.  Pharmacokinetics and Disposition of a Localized Lymphatic Polymeric Hyaluronan Conjugate of Cisplatin in Rodents 
Journal of pharmaceutical sciences  2010;99(6):2664-2671.
Cisplatin (CDDP) is an effective anticancer agent for many solid tumors but has significant systemic toxicity limiting its use in many patients. We have designed a loco-regional delivery system to increase platinum levels in the lymphatics, where early metastasis is most likely to occur, while reducing systemic toxicities. CDDP was conjugated to a biocompatible polymer hyaluronan (HA), with a conjugation degree of approximately 20% (w/w). Conjugates were delivered via subcutaneous injection into the mammary fat pad of rats. Intravenous hyaluronan–cisplatin (HA–Pt) exhibited an increased plasma area under the curve (AUC) 2.7-fold compared to conventional CDDP but with a reduced peak plasma level (Cmax), and HA–Pt increased the ipsilateral lymph node AUC by 3.8-fold compared to CDDP. Urine creatinine was unchanged over 30 days following dosing of HA–Pt. This study demonstrates that intralymphatic drug delivery with polymer-conjugated platinum may provide greater tissue and systemic plasma concentrations of platinum than intravenous CDDP. In addition, localized particle delivery augmented distribution in the loco-regional tissue basin where tumor burden predominates, while renal toxicity compared to standard intravenous CDDP was significantly reduced.
PMCID: PMC3102643  PMID: 19960530
cancer chemotherapy; pharmacokinetics; biodegradable polymers; controlled release; lymphatic transport; polymeric drug carrier; polymeric drug delivery systems
9.  Pharmacometrics and delivery of novel nanoformulated PEG-b-poly(ε-caprolactone) micelles of rapamycin 
To determine the pharmacokinetics, tissue, and blood distribution of rapamycin PEG-block-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEG-b-PCL) micelle formulations with and without the addition of α-tocopherol compared to control rapamycin in Tween 80/PEG 400/N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMA) (7:64:29).
Rapamycin was incorporated at 10% w/w into PEG-b-PCL micelles (5:10 kDa) using a solvent extraction technique. The co-incorporation of 2:1 α-tocopherol:PEG-b-PCL was also studied. Rapamycin was quantified utilizing LC/MS in a Waters XTerra MS C18 column with 32-desmethoxyrapamycin as the internal standard. Male Sprague Dawley rats (N = 4 per group; ~200 g) were cannulated via the left jugular and dosed intravenously (IV) with the rapamycin control and micelle formulations (10 mg/kg, 1:9 ratio for rapamycin to PEG-b-PCL). For tissue distribution 24 h after IV dosing, whole blood, plasma, red blood cells, and all the representative tissues were collected. The tissues were rapidly frozen under liquid nitrogen and ground to a fine powder. The rapamycin concentrations in plasma and red blood cells were utilized to determine the blood distribution (partition coefficient between plasma and red blood cells). For the determination of the pharmacokinetic parameters, blood, plasma, and urine samples were collected over 48 h. The pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated using WinNonlin® (Version 5.1) software.
Rapamycin concentrations were considerably less in brain after administration of both micelle formulations compared to a rapamycin in the Tween 80/PEG 400/DMA control group. There was a 2-fold and 1.6-fold increase in the plasma fraction for rapamycin micelles with and without α-tocopherol. There was a decrease in volume of distribution for both formulations, an increase in AUC, a decrease in clearance, and increase in half life respectively for rapamycin in PEG-b-PCL + α-tocopherol micelles and in PEG-b-PCL micelles. There was no mortality with the micelle formulations compared to 60% mortality with rapamycin in Tween 80/PEG 400/DMA.
The decreased distribution into the brain of rapamycin in PEG-b-PCL micelles may ameliorate rapamycin neurotoxicity. Both micelle formulations increase rapamycin distribution in plasma, which could facilitate access into solid tumors. The micellar delivery systems of rapamycin impart in vivo controlled release, resulting in altered disposition, and dramatically reduced mortality.
PMCID: PMC2259393  PMID: 17393166
Rapamycin; Nanocarrier; Poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone); Polymer micelle; Pharmacokinetics; Delivery
10.  Adenovector-Mediated Gene Delivery to Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Induces Inner Ear Cell Phenotype 
Cellular Reprogramming  2013;15(1):43-54.
Hearing is one of our main sensory systems and having a hearing disorder can have a significant impact in an individual's quality of life. Sensory neural hearing loss (SNHL) is the most common form of hearing loss; it results from the degeneration of inner ear sensory hair cells and auditory neurons in the cochlea, cells that are terminally differentiated. Stem cell–and gene delivery–based strategies provide an opportunity for the replacement of these cells. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in gene delivery to mesenchymal stem cells. In this study, we evaluated the potential of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells (hUCMSCs) as a possible source for regenerating inner ear hair cells. The expression of Atoh1 induced the differentiation of hUCMSCs into cells that resembled inner ear hair cells morphologically and immunocytochemically, evidenced by the expression of hair cell–specific markers. The results demonstrated for the first time that hUCMSCs can differentiate into hair cell–like cells, thus introducing a new potential tissue engineering and cell transplantation approach for the treatment of hearing loss.
PMCID: PMC4298749  PMID: 23379581
11.  Effects of intratumoral administration of a hyaluronan-cisplatin nanoconjugate to five dogs with soft tissue sarcomas 
To determine the effects of intratumoral injection of a hyaluronan-cisplatin nanoconjugate on local and systemic platinum concentrations and systemic toxicosis.
5 dogs with spontaneous soft tissue sarcomas (STSs).
For each dog, approximately 1.5 mL of hyaluronan nanocarrier conjugated with 20 mg of cisplatin was injected into an external STS. Blood samples were collected immediately before (0 hours) and at 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 24, and 96 hours after hyaluronan-cisplatin injection for pharmacokinetic analyses. Urine samples were obtained at 0 and at 96 hours after hyaluronan-cisplatin injection for urinalysis. Each treated STS and its sentinel lymph nodes were surgically removed 96 hours after the hyaluronan-cisplatin injection. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to measure platinum concentrations in blood samples, tumors, and lymph nodes.
No tissue reactions were detected 96 hours after hyaluronan-cisplatin injection. Mean ± SD area under the curve, peak concentration, and terminal half-life for unbound (plasma) and total (serum) platinum were 774.6 ± 221.1 ng·h/mL and 3,562.1 ± 2,031.1 ng·h/mL, 56.5 ± 20.9 ng/mL and 81.6 ± 40.4 ng/mL, and 33.6 ± 16.1 hours and 51.2 ± 29.1 hours, respectively. Platinum concentrations ranged from 3,325 to 8,229 ng/g in STSs and 130 to 6,066 ng/g in STS-associated lymph nodes.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance
Intratumoral injection of the hyaluronan-cisplatin nanoconjugate was well tolerated in treated dogs. Following intratumoral hyaluronan-cisplatin injection, platinum concentration was 1,000-fold and 100-fold greater within treated tumors and tumor-draining lymphatics, respectively, compared with that in plasma.
PMCID: PMC3778682  PMID: 23176425
12.  Controlled release of nitric oxide chemotherapy using a nano-sized biodegradable multi-arm polymer 
Biomaterials  2012;33(11):3243-3253.
Nitric oxide is a cell signaling molecule that can be a potent inducer of cell death in cancers at elevated concentrations. Nitric oxide molecules are short-lived in vivo; therefore, NO-donating prodrugs have been developed that can deliver NO to tissues at micromolar concentrations. However, NO is also toxic to normal tissues and chronic exposure at low levels can induce tumor growth. We have designed a polymeric carrier system to deliver nitric oxide locoregionally to tumorigenic tissues. A highly water solubility and biodegradable 4-arm polymer nanocarrier, sugar poly-(6-O-methacryloyl-D-galactose), was synthesized using MADIX/RAFT polymerization, and utilized to deliver high concentrations of nitric oxide to xenografts of human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The in vitro release of the newly synthesized nitric oxide donor, O2-(2,4-dinitrophenyl) 1-[4-(2-hydroxy)ethyl]-3-methylpiperazin-1-yl]diazen-1-ium-1,2-diolate and its corresponding multi-arm polymer-based nanoconjugate demonstrated a 1- and 2.3-fold increase in half-life, respectively, compared to the release half-life of the nitric oxide -donor prodrug JS-K. When administered to tumor-bearing nude mice, the subcutaneously injected multi-arm polymer nitric oxide nanoparticles resulted in 50% tumor inhibition and a 7-week extension of the average survival time, compared to intravenous JS-K therapy (nitric oxide nanoparticles: CR=25%, PR=37.5%, PD=37.5%; JS-K: PD=100%). In summary, we have developed an effective nitric oxide anti-cancer chemotherapy that could be administered regionally to provide the local disease control, improving prognosis for head and neck cancers.
PMCID: PMC3572206  PMID: 22281420
13.  The Effects of PVP(Fe(III)) Catalyst on Polymer Molecular Weight and Gene Delivery via Biodegradable Cross-Linked Polyethylenimine 
Pharmaceutical research  2011;29(2):500-510.
Crosslinked, degradable derivatives of low-molecular-weight polyethylenimine (PEI) are relatively efficient and non-cytotoxic gene delivery agents. To further investigate these promising materials, a new synthetic approach was developed using a poly(4-vinylpyridine)-supported Fe(III) catalyst (PVP(Fe(III))) that provides more facile synthesis and enhanced control of polymer molecular weight.
Biodegradable polymers (D.PEI) comprising 800-Da PEI crosslinked with 1,6-hexanediol diacrylate and exhibiting molecular weights of 1.2, 6.2, and 48 kDa were synthesized utilizing the PVP(Fe(III)) catalyst. D.PEI/DNA polyplexes were characterized using gel retardation, ethidium bromide exclusion, heparan sulfate displacement, and dynamic light scattering. In vitro transfection, cellular uptake, and cytotoxicity of the polyplexes were tested in human cervical cancer cells (HeLa) and human breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231).
D.PEIs tightly complexed plasmid DNA and formed 320- to 440-nm diameter polyplexes, similar to those comprising non-degradable, 25-kDa, branched PEI. D.PEI polyplexes mediated 2- to 5-fold increased gene delivery efficacy compared to 25-kDa PEI and exhibited 20% lower cytotoxicity in HeLa and no toxicity in MDA-MB-231. In addition, 2- to 7-fold improved cellular uptake of DNA was achieved with D.PEI polyplexes.
PVP(Fe(III)) catalyst provided a more controlled synthesis of D.PEIs, and these materials demonstrated improved in vitro transfection efficacy and reduced cytotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC3465843  PMID: 21892707
polyethylenimine; non-viral gene delivery; biodegradable polymer; polymer supported ferric chloride
14.  Lysosomotropic Properties of Weakly Basic Anticancer Agents Promote Cancer Cell Selectivity In Vitro 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49366.
Drug distribution in cells is a fundamentally important, yet often overlooked, variable in drug efficacy. Many weakly basic anticancer agents accumulate extensively in the acidic lysosomes of normal cells through ion trapping. Lysosomal trapping reduces the activity of anticancer drugs, since anticancer drug targets are often localized in the cell cytosol or nucleus. Some cancer cells have defective acidification of lysosomes, which causes a redistribution of trapped drugs from the lysosomes to the cytosol. We have previously established that such differences in drug localization between normal and cancer cells can contribute to the apparent selectivity of weakly basic drugs to cancer cells in vitro. In this work, we tested whether this intracellular distribution-based drug selectivity could be optimized based on the acid dissociation constant (pKa) of the drug, which is one of the determinants of lysosomal sequestration capacity. We synthesized seven weakly basic structural analogs of the Hsp90 inhibitor geldanamycin (GDA) with pKa values ranging from 5 to 12. The selectivity of each analog was expressed by taking ratios of anti-proliferative IC50 values of the inhibitors in normal fibroblasts to the IC50 values in human leukemic HL-60 cells. Similar selectivity assessments were performed in a pair of cancer cell lines that differed in lysosomal pH as a result of siRNA-mediated alteration of vacuolar proton ATPase subunit expression. Optimal selectivity was observed for analogs with pKa values near 8. Similar trends were observed with commercial anticancer agents with varying weakly basic pKa values. These evaluations advance our understanding of how weakly basic properties can be optimized to achieve maximum anticancer drug selectivity towards cancer cells with defective lysosomal acidification in vitro. Additional in vivo studies are needed to examine the utility of this approach for enhancing selectivity.
PMCID: PMC3492287  PMID: 23145164
15.  Lymphatic drug delivery using engineered liposomes and solid lipid nanoparticles 
Advanced drug delivery reviews  2011;63(10-11):901-908.
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the immune system’s recognition and response to disease, and most solid cancers initially spread from the primary site via the tumor’s surrounding lymphatics before hematological dissemination. Hence, the lymphatic system is an important target for developing new vaccines, cancer treatments, and diagnostic agents. Targeting the lymphatic system by subcutaneous, intestinal, and pulmonary routes has been evaluated and subsequently utilized to improve lymphatic penetration and retention of drug molecules, reduce drug-related systemic toxicities, and enhance bioavailability of poorly soluble and unstable drugs. Lymphatic imaging is an essential tool for the detection and staging of cancer. New nano-based technologies offer improved detection and characterization of the nodal diseases, while new delivery devices can better target and confine treatments to tumors within the nodal space while sparing healthy tissues. This manuscript reviews recent advances in the field of lymphatic drug delivery and imaging and focuses specifically on the development ofliposomes and solid lipid nanoparticles for lymphatic introduction via the subcutaneous, intestinal, and pulmonary routes.
PMCID: PMC3164476  PMID: 21712055
16.  Development of regional chemotherapies: feasibility, safety and efficacy in clinical use and preclinical studies 
Therapeutic delivery  2011;2(11):1467-1484.
Conventional oral and intravenous chemotherapies permeate throughout the body, exposing healthy tissues to similar cytotoxic drug levels as tumors. This leads to significant dose-limiting toxicities that may prevent patients from receiving sufficient treatment to overcome cancers. Therefore, a number of locoregional drug-delivery strategies have been evaluated and implemented in preclinical studies, clinical trials and in practice, in the past decades to minimize systemic toxicities from chemotherapeutic agents and to improve treatment outcomes. Localized treatment is beneficial because many cancers, such as melanoma, peritoneal cancer and breast cancer, advance locally adjacent to the site of the primary tumors prior to their circulatory invasion. In this article, we will review the feasibility, safety and efficacy of multiple localized chemotherapies in clinical use and preclinical development.
PMCID: PMC3249754  PMID: 22229080
17.  Flip-flop pharmacokinetics – delivering a reversal of disposition: challenges and opportunities during drug development 
Therapeutic delivery  2011;2(5):643-672.
Flip-flop pharmacokinetics is a phenomenon often encountered with extravascularly administered drugs. Occurrence of flip-flop spans preclinical to human studies. The purpose of this article is to analyze both the pharmacokinetic interpretation errors and opportunities underlying the presence of flip-flop pharmacokinetics during drug development. Flip-flop occurs when the rate of absorption is slower than the rate of elimination. If it is not recognized, it can create difficulties in the acquisition and interpretation of pharmacokinetic parameters. When flip-flop is expected or discovered, a longer duration of sampling may be necessary in order to avoid overestimation of fraction of dose absorbed. Common culprits of flip-flop disposition are modified dosage formulations; however, formulation characteristics such as the drug chemical entities themselves or the incorporated excipients can also cause the phenomenon. Yet another contributing factor is the physiological makeup of the extravascular site of administration. In this article, these causes of flip-flop pharmacokinetics are discussed with incorporation of relevant examples and the implications for drug development outlined.
PMCID: PMC3152312  PMID: 21837267
19.  Carrier-based intralymphatic cisplatin chemotherapy for the treatment of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head & neck 
Therapeutic delivery  2010;1(2):237-245.
Since head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) preferentially metastasizes to the locoregional lymphatics, treatment of the tumor-draining cervical lymph nodes is paramount.
We developed a hyaluronan–cisplatin (HA–Pt) nanoconjugate with prolonged lymphatic retention and greatly improved tumor tissue deposition for the treatment of metastatic HNSCC. We also developed an orthotopic metastatic xenograft model of HNSCC to examine the efficacy of the nanoconjugate. HNSCC (1/week × 3 weeks) were completely cured for 57% of the female mice in the HA–Pt treatment group, which demonstrated greatly hindered HNSCC progression compared with the standard cisplatin therapy (p < 0.05).
With this insight, we will be able to optimize the carriers for better uptake, penetration and retention within cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC3039877  PMID: 21339844
20.  Pulmonary delivery of cisplatin-hyaluronan conjugates via endotracheal instillation for the treatment of lung cancer 
International journal of pharmaceutics  2010;392(1-2):156-163.
Cisplatin (CDDP) intravenous treatments suffer several dose-limiting toxicity issues. Hyaluronan (HA), a naturally occurring biopolymer in the interstitium, is primarily cleared by the lymphatic system. An alteration in input rate and administration route through pulmonary delivery of hyaluronan-cisplatin conjugate (HA-Pt) may increase local lung CDDP concentrations and decrease systemic toxicity.
Sprague-Dawley rats were split into four groups: i.v. CDDP (3.5 mg/kg), i.v. HA-Pt conjugate (3.5 mg/kg equivalent CDDP), lung instillation CDDP and lung instillation HA-Pt conjugate. Total platinum level in the lungs of the HA-Pt lung instillation group was 5.7-fold and 1.2-fold higher than the CDDP intravenous group at 24 h and 96 h, respectively. A 1.1-fold increase of Pt accumulation in lung draining nodes for the HA-Pt lung instillation group was achieved at 24 h relative to the CDDP i.v. group. In the brain and kidneys, the CDDP i.v. group had higher tissue/plasma ratios compared to the HA-Pt lung instillation group. Augmented tissue distribution from CDDP i.v. could translate into enhanced tissue toxicity compared to the altered input rate and distribution of the intrapulmonary nanoformulation.
In conclusion, a local pulmonary CDDP delivery system was developed with increased platinum concentration in the lungs and draining nodes compared to i.v. therapy.
PMCID: PMC2873163  PMID: 20363303
cisplatin; hyaluronan; pharmacokinetics; pulmonary delivery; lung chemotherapeutics
21.  Drug delivery to the lymphatic system: importance in future cancer diagnosis and therapies 
Expert opinion on drug delivery  2009;6(8):785-792.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US. Currently, protocols for cancer treatment include surgery to remove diseased and suspect tissues, focused radiation, systemic chemotherapy, immunotherapy and their combinations. With conventional chemotherapy, it is almost impossible to deliver anticancer drugs specifically to the tumor cells without damaging healthy organs or tissues. Over the past several decades, efforts have been made to improve drug delivery technologies that target anticancer drugs specifically to tumor cells. It has been known for over four decades that the lymphatics are the first site of metastasis for most solid cancers; however, few efforts have been made to localize chemotherapies to lymphatic tissues. Trials of several systemic targeted drug delivery systems based on nanoparticles containing chemotherapeutic agents (e.g., liposomal doxorubicin) have shown similar antitumor activity but better patient tolerance compared with conventional formulations. Animal studies have demonstrated that nanoparticles made of natural or synthetic polymers and liposomal carriers have higher accumulation in the lymph nodes and surrounding lymphatics compared to conventional intravenous therapies. This combination has the potential to both reduce nonspecific organ toxicities and increase the chemotherapeutic dose to the most likely sites of locoregional cancer metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3102644  PMID: 19563270
cancer diagnosis; chemotherapies; liposomes; lymphatics; nanoparticles
22.  Nanoparticles for biomedical imaging 
Expert opinion on drug delivery  2009;6(11):1175-1194.
Synthetic nanoparticles are emerging as versatile tools in biomedical applications, particularly in the area of biomedical imaging. Nanoparticles 1 – 100 nm in diameter have dimensions comparable to biological functional units. Diverse surface chemistries, unique magnetic properties, tunable absorption and emission properties, and recent advances in the synthesis and engineering of various nanoparticles suggest their potential as probes for early detection of diseases such as cancer. Surface functionalization has expanded further the potential of nanoparticles as probes for molecular imaging.
To summarize emerging research of nanoparticles for biomedical imaging with increased selectivity and reduced nonspecific uptake with increased spatial resolution containing stabilizers conjugated with targeting ligands.
This review summarizes recent technological advances in the synthesis of various nanoparticle probes, and surveys methods to improve the targeting of nanoparticles for their application in biomedical imaging.
Structural design of nanomaterials for biomedical imaging continues to expand and diversify. Synthetic methods have aimed to control the size and surface characteristics of nanoparticles to control distribution, half-life and elimination. Although molecular imaging applications using nanoparticles are advancing into clinical applications, challenges such as storage stability and long-term toxicology should continue to be addressed.
PMCID: PMC3097035  PMID: 19743894
biomedical imaging; molecular imaging; nanoparticle synthesis; surface modification; targeting
23.  Intracellular Distribution-based Anticancer Drug Targeting: Exploiting a Lysosomal Acidification Defect Associated with Cancer Cells 
The therapeutic usefulness of anticancer agents relies on their ability to exert maximal toxicity to cancer cells and minimal toxicity to normal cells. The difference between these two parameters defines the therapeutic index of the agent. Towards this end, much research has focused on the design of anticancer agents that have optimized potency against a variety of cancer cell types; however, much less effort is spent on the design of drugs that are minimally toxic to normal cells. We have previously described a concept for a novel drug delivery platform that relies on the propensity of drugs with optimal physicochemical properties to distribute differently in normal versus cancer cells due to differences in intracellular pH gradients. Specifically, we demonstrated in vitro that certain weakly basic anticancer agents had the propensity to distribute to intracellular locations in normal cells that prevent interaction with the drug target, and to intracellular locations in cancer cells that promote drug-target interactions. We refer to this concept broadly as intracellular distribution-based drug targeting. Here we will discuss current in vivo work from our laboratory that examined the role of lysosome pH on the intracellular distribution and toxicity of inhibitors of the Hsp90 molecular chaperone in mice.
PMCID: PMC3026327  PMID: 21274418
Intracellular; Drug delivery; Drug targeting; Lysosomes; Anticancer; Heat shock proteins
24.  A Novel Intralymphatic Nanocarrier-Delivery System for Cisplatin Therapy in Breast Cancer with Improved Tumor Efficacy and Lower Systemic Toxicity In Vivo 
American journal of surgery  2009;198(6):781-786.
A lymphatically delivered nanoconjugate of cisplatin was evaluated in an orthotopic mouse model of locoregionally metastatic breast cancer (LABC) to determine if it can overcome some of the limitations of standard cisplatin therapy such as high systemic toxicity.
Human breast cancer cells (107 MDA-MB-468LN) were injected into the mammary fat pad of female nu/nu mice. Once tumor volume reached 50 mm3; intravenous cisplatin or subcutaneous hyaluronan-cisplatin [HA-cisplatin] nanoconjugate was given 1/week × 3 at 3.3 mg/kg (platinum basis).
Nanoconjugates co-localized with the tumors after subcutaneous peritumoral injection and demonstrated improved efficacy to intravenous cisplatin. After one month, renal tubular hemorrhage and edema were more prevalent in the intravenous formulation compared to subcutaneous HA-cisplatin nanoconjugates.
This nanocarrier delivery platform focuses drug in the areas where tumor burden is greatest, potentially reducing systemic toxicity, and has future applicability as a neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy for LABC.
PMCID: PMC2791715  PMID: 19969129
25.  Effects of nanomaterial physicochemical properties on in vivo toxicity 
Advanced drug delivery reviews  2009;61(6):457-466.
It is well recognized that physical and chemical properties of materials can alter dramatically at nanoscopic scale, and the growing use of nanotechnologies requires careful assessment of unexpected toxicities and biological interactions. However, most in vivo toxicity concerns focus primarily on pulmonary, oral, and dermal exposure to ultrafine particles. As nanomaterials expand as therapeutics and as diagnostic tools, parenteral administration of engineered nanomaterials should also be recognized as a critical aspect for toxicity consideration. Due to the complex nature of nanomaterials, conflicting studies have led to different views of their safety. Here, the physicochemical properties of four representative nanomaterials (dendrimers, carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, and gold nanoparticles) as it relates to their toxicity after systemic exposure is discussed.
PMCID: PMC2743376  PMID: 19386275
nanomaterial; toxicity; in vivo; dendrimer; carbon nanotube; quantum dot; gold nanoparticle; analysis

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