A novel stabilized aggregated nanogel particle (SANP) drug delivery system was prepared for injectable passive lung targeting. Gel nanoparticles (GNPs) were synthesized by irreversibly cross-linking 8 Arm PEG thiol with 1,6-Hexane-bis-vinylsulfone (HBVS) in phosphate buffer (PB, pH 7.4) containing 0.1% v/v Tween™ 80. Aggregated nanogel particles (ANPs) were generated by aggregating GNPs to micron-size, which were then stabilized (i.e., SANPs) using a PEG thiol polymer to prevent further growth-aggregation. The size of SANPs, ANPs and GNPs was analyzed using a Coulter counter and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Stability studies of SANPs were performed at 37 °C in rat plasma, phosphate buffered saline (PBS, pH 7.4) and PB (pH 7.4). SANPs were stable in rat plasma, PBS and PB over 7 days. SANPs were covalently labeled with HiLyteFluor™750 (DYE-SANPs) to facilitate ex vivo imaging. Biodistribution of intravenous DYE-SANPs (30 μm, 4 mg in 500 μL PBS) in male Sprague-Dawley rats was compared to free HiLyteFluor™750 DYE alone (1 mg in 500 μL PBS) and determined using a Xenogen IVIS®100 Imaging System. Biodistribution studies demonstrated that free DYE was rapidly eliminated from the body by renal filtration, whereas DYE-SANPs accumulated in the lung within 30 minutes and persisted for 48 h. DYE-SANPs were enzymatically degraded to their original principle components (i.e., DYE-PEG-thiol and PEG-VS polymer) and were then eliminated from the body by renal filtration. Histological evaluation using H & E staining and broncho alveolar lavage (BAL) confirmed that these flexible SANPs were not toxic. This suggests that because of their flexible and non-toxic nature, SANPs may be a useful alternative for treating pulmonary diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis and disseminated lung cancer.
Nanogel aggregates; passive pulmonary targeting; drug delivery system; biodegradable microparticle; poly(ethylene glycol)
Experiments with cultures of human tumor cell lines, xenografts of human tumors into immunodeficient mice, and mouse models of human cancer are important tools in the development and testing of anti-cancer drugs. Tumors are complex structures composed of genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous cancer cells that interact in a reciprocal manner with the stromal microenvironment and the immune system. Modeling the complexity of human cancers in cell culture and in mouse models for preclinical testing is a challenge that has not yet been met although tremendous advances have been made. A combined approach of cell culture and mouse models of human cancer is most likely to predict the efficacy of novel anti-cancer treatments in human clinical trials.
cancer model; cell culture; mouse; xenograft; preclinical
Evidence continues to accumulate that patient tumors contain heterogeneous cell populations, each of which may contribute differently in extent and mechanism to the progression of malignancy. However, the field of tumor drug delivery research, while continually presenting new and innovative approaches, in many ways continues to operate on the premise that essentially all tumor cells are identical. In some in vivo models, xenograft tumors using cell lines may actually be comparatively homogeneous, and thus result in overly encouraging results when a particular drug or delivery system is reported to successfully treat tumors in mice. It is well known, however, that many drugs that show success in preclinical studies will fail in clinical trials. Tumor heterogeneity is possibly one of the most significant factors that most treatment methods fail to address sufficiently. While a particular drug may exhibit initial success, the eventual relapse of tumor growth is due in many cases to subpopulations of cells that are either not affected by the drug mechanism, possess or acquire a greater drug resistance, or have a localized condition in their microenvironment that enables them to evade or withstand the drug. These various subpopulations may include cancer stem cells, mutated clonal variants, and tumor-associated stromal cells, as well as cells experiencing a spatially different condition such as hypoxia within a diffusion-limited tumor region. This review briefly discusses some of the many aspects of tumor heterogeneity and their potential implications for future drug design and delivery methods.
Tumor heterogeneity; Drug delivery; Cancer stem cell; Tumor microenvironment
Multicellular spheroids are three dimensional in vitro microscale tissue analogs. The current article examines the suitability of spheroids as an in vitro platform for testing drug delivery systems. Spheroids model critical physiologic parameters present in vivo, including complex multicellular architecture, barriers to mass transport, and extracellular matrix deposition. Relative to two-dimensional cultures, spheroids also provide better target cells for drug testing and are appropriate in vitro model for studies of drug penetration. Key challenges associated with creation of uniformly sized spheroids, spheroids with small number of cells and co-culture spheroids are emphasized in the article. Moreover, the assay techniques required for the characterization of drug delivery and efficacy in spheroids and the challenges associated with such studies are discussed. Examples for the use of spheroids in drug delivery and testing are also emphasized. With these challenges and the possible solutions, multicellular spheroids are becoming an increasingly useful in vitro tool for drug screening and delivery to pathological tissues and organs.
Spheroids; Drug delivery; Drug screening; High throughput; Tissue engineering; Imaging
Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) conjugated to a cell-penetrating peptide, TAT, was used to increase intracellular delivery of paclitaxel (PTX) to multi-drug resistant (MDR) cells. Efficient cellular uptake of the TAT-conjugated PLGA NPs was observed; however, it did not translate to increased killing of MDR cells. An investigation of drug release kinetics in phosphate-buffered saline containing Tween 80 led us to suspect that a significant fraction of the loaded PTX was released before efficient cellular uptake could occur. These results indicate that the increased cellular uptake of NPs does not always mean an enhanced drug effect and that it is critical to control both the location of NPs and the drug release from NPs together. Based on this study, we propose that two prevalent practices in NP research be reconsidered: First, the utility of a new NP system should be tested beyond the imaging level. Second, NP release kinetics should be monitored in a medium that can reflect the complexity of biological environment rather than a simple buffered saline.
Polymeric nanoparticles; drug delivery; drug release; cellular uptake; bioactivity
Targeting of therapeutic agents to molecular markers expressed on the surface of cells requiring clinical intervention holds promise to improve specificity of delivery, enhancing therapeutic effects while decreasing potential damage to healthy tissues. Drug targeting to cellular receptors involved in endocytic transport facilitates intracellular delivery, a requirement for a number of therapeutic goals. However, after several decades of experimental design, there is still considerable controversy on the practical outcome of drug targeting strategies. The plethora of factors contributing to the relative efficacy of targeting makes the success of these approaches hardly predictable. Lack of fully specific targets, along with selection of targets with spatial and temporal expression well aligned to interventional requirements, pose difficulties to this process. Selection of adequate sub-molecular target epitopes determines accessibility for anchoring of drug conjugates and bulkier drug carriers, as well as proper signaling for uptake within the cell. Targeting design must adapt to physiological variables of blood flow, disease status, and tissue architecture by accommodating physicochemical parameters such as carrier composition, functionalization, geometry, and avidity. In many cases, opposite features need to meet a balance, e.g., sustained circulation versus efficient targeting, penetration through tissues versus uptake within cells, internalization within endocytic compartment to avoid efflux pumps versus accessibility to molecular targets within the cytosol, etc. Detailed characterization of these complex physiological factors and design parameters, along with a deep understanding of the mechanisms governing the interaction of targeted drugs and carriers with the biological environment, are necessary steps toward achieving efficient drug targeting systems.
Drug delivery; active targeting; ligand; cell surface binding; internalization; subcellular transport
Nanomedicine-based approaches to cancer treatment face several challenges that differ from those encountered by conventional medicines during clinical development. A systematic exploration of these issues has led us to identify the following needs and opportunities for further development: (1) robust and general methods for the accurate characterization of nanoparticle size, shape, and composition; (2) scalable approaches for producing nanomedicines with optimized bioavailability and excretion profiles; (3) particle engineering for maintaining low levels of nonspecific cytotoxicity and sufficient stability during storage; (4) optimization of surface chemistries for maximum targeted delivery and minimum nonspecific adsorption; (5) practical methods for quantifying ligand density and distributions on multivalent nanocarriers; and (6) the design of multifunctional nanomedicines for novel combination therapies with supportable levels of bioaccumulation.
nanomedicine; drug delivery; size analysis; pharmacokinetics; ligand density; active targeting; passive uptake
Advances in nanotechnology for oncology will arise from an increased understanding of the interaction between nanomaterials and biological systems; refinement of multifunctional nanocomposites for applications such as simultaneous imaging and therapy (theranostics); and harnessing of the unique physicochemical properties arising from nanoscale effects which distinguish them from small-molecular-weight molecules in the detection and destruction of cancer cells with high selectivity and efficiency. The major challenges in successful clinical translation of tumor specific nanoparticle delivery include overcoming various biological barriers and demonstrating enhanced therapeutic efficacy over the current standard of care in the clinic. For many nanoparticle mediated theranostic applications, image guidance can play a crucial role not only in exploiting the cancer specific imaging capabilities of these novel particles, but in planning, targeting, monitoring and verifying treatment delivery, thus enhancing the safety and efficacy of these emerging procedures.
nanoparticles; targeting; barriers; photothermal ablation therapy
We describe the evaluation of doxorubicin-loaded PEG-PE micelles targeting using an ovarian cancer cell spheroid model. Most ovarian cancer patients present at an advanced clinical stage and develop resistance to standard of care platinum/taxane therapy. Doxorubicin is also approved for ovarian cancer but had limited benefits in refractory patients. In this study, we used drug-resistant spheroid cultures of ovarian carcinoma to evaluate the uptake and cytotoxicity of an antibody-targeted doxorubicin formulation. Doxorubicin was encapsulated in polyethylene glycol-phosphatidyl ethanolamine (PEG-PE) conjugated micelles. The doxorubicin-loaded PEG-PE micelles (MDOX) were further decorated with a cancer cell-specific monoclonal 2C5 antibody to obtain doxorubicin-loaded immunomicelles (2C5-MDOX). Targeting and resulting toxicity of doxorubicin-loaded PEG-PE micelles were evaluated in three dimensional cancer cell spheroids. Superior accumulation of 2C5-MDOX compared to free doxorubicin or untargeted MDOX in spheroids was evidenced both by flow cytometry, fluorescence and confocal microscopy. Interestingly, even higher toxicity was measured by lactate dehydrogenase release and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling of targeted doxorubicin micelles in Bcl-2 overexpressing adriamycin-resistant spheroids. Overall, these results support use of spheroids to evaluate tumor targeted drug delivery.
Cancer cell spheroids; doxorubicin; immunomicelles; targeting
The use of biodegradable polymers provides a potentially safe and effective alternative to viral and liposomal vectors for the delivery of plasmid DNA to cells for gene therapy applications. In this work we describe the formulation of a novel nanoparticle (NP) system containing a blend of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and a representative poly(beta-amino) ester (PLGA and PBAE respectively) for use as gene delivery vehicles. Particles of different weight/weight (wt/wt) ratios of the two polymers were characterized for size, morphology, plasmid DNA (pDNA) loading and surface charge. NPs containing PBAE were more effective at cellular internalization and transfection (COS-7 and CFBE41o—) than NPs lacking the PBAE polymer. However, along with these delivery benefits, PBAE exhibited cytotoxic effects that presented an engineering challenge. Surface coating of these blended particles with the cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) mTAT, bPrPp and MPG via a PEGylated phospholipid linker (DSPE-PEG2000) resulted in NPs that reduced surface charge and cellular toxicity to levels comparable with NPs formulated with only PLGA. Additionally, these coated nanoparticles showed an improvement in pDNA loading, intracellular uptake and transfection efficiency, when compared to NPs lacking the surface coating. Although all particles with a CPP coating outperformed unmodified NPs, respectively, bPrPp and MPG coating resulted in 3 and 4.5× more pDNA loading than unmodified particles and approximately an order of magnitude improvement on transfection efficiency in CFBE41o— cells. These results demonstrate that surface-modified PBAE containing NPs are a highly effective and minimally toxic platform for pDNA delivery.
Gene therapy; Nanoparticles; pDNA; Poly(beta-amino) ester; Cell-penetrating peptide; Cystic fibrosis
Targeted drug delivery to tumor sites is one of the ultimate goals in drug delivery. Recent progress in nanoparticle engineering has certainly improved drug targeting, but the results are not as good as expected. This is largely due to the fact that nanoparticles, regardless of how advanced they are, find the target as a result of blood circulation, like the conventional drug delivery systems do. Currently, the nanoparticle-based drug delivery to the target tumor tissues is based on wrong assumptions that most of the nanoparticles, either PEGylated or not, reach the target by the enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect. Studies have shown that so-called targeting moieties, i.e., antibodies or ligands, on the nanoparticle surface do not really improve delivery to target tumors. Targeted drug delivery to tumor sites is associated with highly complex biological, mechanical, chemical and transport phenomena, of which characteristics vary spatiotemporally. Yet, most of the efforts have been focused on design and surface manipulation of the drug carrying nanoparticles with relatively little attention to other aspects. This article examines the current misunderstandings and the main difficulties in targeted drug delivery.
Targeted drug delivery; Nanoparticles; EPR effect; Tumor; Cancer
Microbubble ultrasound contrast agents are being developed as image-guided gene carriers for targeted delivery in vivo. In this study, novel polyplex-microbubbles were synthesized, characterized and evaluated for systemic circulation and tumor transfection. Branched polyethylenimine (PEI; 25 kDa) was modified with polyethylene glycol (PEG; 5 kDa), thiolated and covalently attached to maleimide groups on lipid-coated microbubbles. The PEI-microbubbles demonstrated increasingly positive surface charge and DNA loading capacity with increasing maleimide content. The in vivo ultrasound contrast persistence of PEI-microbubbles was measured in the healthy mouse kidney, and a two-compartment pharmacokinetic model accounting for free and adherent microbubbles was developed to describe the anomalous time-intensity curves. The model suggested that PEI loading dramatically reduced free circulation and increased nonspecific adhesion to the vasculature. However, DNA loading to form polyplex-microbubbles increased circulation in the bloodstream and decreased nonspecific adhesion. PEI-microbubbles coupled to a luciferase bioluminescence reporter plasmid DNA were shown to transfect tumors implanted in the mouse kidney. Site-specific delivery was achieved using ultrasound applied over the tumor area following bolus injection of the DNA/PEI-microbubbles. In vivo imaging showed over 10-fold higher bioluminescence from the tumor region compared to untreated tissue. Ex vivo analysis of excised tumors showed greater than 40-fold higher expression in tumor tissue than non-sonicated control (heart) tissue. These results suggest that the polyplex-microbubble platform offers improved control of DNA loading and packaging suitable for ultrasound-guided tissue transfection.
theranostic; ultrasound contrast agent; delivery vehicle; gene delivery; tumor; SKNEP-1; polyethylenimine; PEI; polyethylene glycol; PEG
The tumor-targeted corrole particle, HerGa, displays preferential toxicity to tumors in vivo and can be tracked via fluorescence for simultaneous detection, imaging, and treatment. We have recently uncovered an additional feature of HerGa in that its cytotoxicity is enhanced by light irradiation. In the present study, we have elucidated the cellular mechanisms for HerGa photoexcitation-mediated cell damage using fluorescence optical imaging. In particular, we found that light irradiation of HerGa produces singlet oxygen, causing mitochondrial damage and cytochrome c release, thus promoting apoptotic cell death. An understanding of the mechanisms of cell death induced by HerGa, particularly under conditions of light-mediated excitation, may direct future efforts in further customizing this nanoparticle for additional therapeutic applications and enhanced potency.
Nanoparticles; drug delivery; a sulfonated gallium(III) corrole; HER2+; Tumor targeting; Photoexcitation; Singlet oxygen
Trastuzumab has shown positive results in many patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer, but it is less effective for controlling metastases in the CNS, which remains a site of relapse. The poor prognosis for patients with brain metastases is thought to be largely due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) that prevents delivery of most drugs to the CNS and to the heterogeneous and limited permeability of the blood-tumor barrier (BTB). Focused ultrasound (FUS) bursts combined with circulating microbubbles can temporarily permeabilize both the BBB and the BTB. This technique has been investigated as a potential noninvasive method for targeted drug delivery in the brain. Here, we investigated whether BBB/BTB permeabilization in the tumor and surrounding brain tissue induced by FUS and microbubbles can slow tumor growth and improve survival in a breast cancer brain metastases model. HER2/neu-positive human breast cancer cells (BT474) were inoculated in the brains of 41 nude (nu/nu) rats. Animals in the treatment group received six weekly treatments of BTB/BBB permeabilization under MRI guidance combined with IV administration of trastuzumab (2 mg/kg). Tumor growth and survival rates were monitored via MRI for seven weeks after sonication. Starting at week seven and continuing through the end of the study, the mean tumor volume of the FUS+trastuzumab group was significantly (P<0.05) less than those of the three control groups (no treatment, FUS alone, trastuzumab alone). Furthermore, in four out of 10 rats treated with FUS+trastuzumab, the tumor appeared to be completely resolved in MRI, an outcome which was not observed in any of the 31 rats in three control groups. Trastuzumab improved median survival by 13% compared to the no treatment group, a difference which was significant (P=0.044). Treatment with FUS+trastuzumab produced the most significant benefit compared to the no-treatment controls (P=0.0084). More than half (6/10) animals survived at the study endpoint, leading to a median survival time greater than 83 days (at least 32% longer than the untreated control group). Overall, this work suggests that BBB/BTB permeabilization induced by FUS and microbubbles can improve outcomes in breast cancer brain metastases.
Blood-brain barrier; targeted drug delivery; MRgFUS; breast cancer; trastuzumab; microbubbles
RNA interference (RNAi) is a highly specific gene-silencing mechanism triggered by small interfering RNA (siRNA). Effective intracellular delivery requires the development of potent siRNA carriers. Here, we describe the synthesis and screening of a series of siRNA delivery materials. Short polyethyleneimine (PEI, Mw 600) was selected as a cationic backbone to which lipid tails were conjugated at various levels of saturation. In solution these polymer–lipid hybrids self-assemble to form nanoparticles capable of complexing siRNA. The complexes silence genes specifically and with low cytotoxicity. The efficiency of gene knockdown increased as the number of lipid tails conjugated to the PEI backbone increased. This is explained by reducing the binding affinity between the siRNA strands to the complex, thereby enabling siRNA release after cellular internalization. These results highlight the importance of complexation strength when designing siRNA delivery materials.
Lipid; Conjugation; Complexation; Affinity; Polyethyleneimine (PEI); Cationic
New subunit vaccine formulations with increased potency are of interest to improve immune responses against poorly immunogenic antigens, avoid vaccine shortages in pandemic situations, and to promote dose-sparing of potent adjuvant molecules that can cause unacceptable side effects in prophylactic vaccination. Here we report strong class-switched, high avidity humoral immune responses elicited by a vaccine system based on poly(lactide-co-glycolide) micro- or nano-particles enveloped by PEGylated phospholipid bilayers, with protein antigens covalently anchored to the lipid surface and lipophilic adjuvants inserted in the bilayer coating. Strikingly, these particles elicited high endpoint antigen-specific IgG titers (>106) sustained for over 100 days after two immunizations with as little as 2.5 ng of antigen. At such low doses, the conventional adjuvant alum or the molecular adjuvants monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) or α-galactosylceramide (αGC) failed to elicit responses. Co-delivery of antigen with MPLA or αGC incorporated into the particle bilayers in a pathogen-mimetic fashion further enhanced antibody titers by ~12-fold. MPLA provided the highest sustained IgG titers at these ultra-low antigen doses, while αGC promoted a rapid rise in serum IgG after one immunization, which may be valuable in emergencies such as disease pandemics. The dose of αGC required to boost the antibody response was also spared by particulate delivery. Lipid-enveloped biodegradable micro- and nano-particles thus provide a potent dose-sparing platform for vaccine delivery.
vaccine; adjuvant; microparticle; nanoparticle; lipid membranes; biomimicry
Low-frequency ultrasound has been studied extensively due to its ability to enhance skin permeability. In spite of this effort, improvements in enhancing the efficacy of transdermal ultrasound treatments have been limited. Currently, when greater skin permeability is desired at a given frequency, one is limited to increasing the intensity or the duration of the ultrasound treatment, which carries the risk of thermal side effects. Therefore, the ability to increase skin permeability without increasing ultrasound intensity or treatment time would represent a significant and desirable outcome. Here, we hypothesize that the simultaneous application of two distinct ultrasound frequencies, in the range of 20 kHz to 3 MHz, can enhance the efficacy of ultrasound exposure. Aluminum foil pitting experiments showed a significant increase in cavitational activity when two frequencies were applied instead of just one low frequency. Additionally, in vitro tests with porcine skin indicated that the permeability and resulting formation of localized transport regions are greatly enhanced when two frequencies (low and high) are used simultaneously. These results were corroborated with glucose (180 Da) and inulin (5000 Da) transdermal flux experiments, which showed greater permeant delivery both into and through the dual-frequency pre-treated skin.
Cavitation; Permeability; Skin; Diffusion; Transdermal Drug Delivery; Ultrasound
We have designed and evaluated a dual anticancer delivery system to provide combined gene therapy and chemotherapy. Double-walled microspheres consisting of a poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) core surrounded by a poly(lactic acid) (PLA) shell were fabricated via the precision particle fabrication (PPF) technique. We make use of the advantages of double-walled microspheres to deliver chitosan-DNA nanoparticles containing the gene encoding the p53 tumor suppressor protein (chi-p53) and/or doxorubicin (Dox), loaded in the shell and core phases, respectively. Different molecular weights of PLA were used to form the shell layer for each formulation. The microspheres were monodisperse with a mean diameter of 65 to 75 μm and uniform shell thickness of 8 to 17 μm. Blank and Dox-loaded microspheres typically exhibited a smooth surface with relatively few small pores, while chi-microspheres containing p53 nanoparticles, with and without Dox, presented rough and porous surfaces. The encapsulation efficiency of Dox was significantly higher when it was encapsulated alone compared to co-encapsulation with chi-p53 nanoparticles. The encapsulation efficiency of chi-p53 nanoparticles, on the other hand, was not affected by the presence of Dox. As desired, chi-p53 nanoparticles were released first, followed by simultaneous release of chi-p53 nanoparticles and Dox at a near zero-order rate. Thus, we have demonstrated that the PPF method is capable of producing double-walled microspheres and encapsulating dual agents for combined modality treatment, such as gene therapy and chemotherapy.
Double-walled; microspheres; PLGA; PLA; chitosan; p53; doxorubicin; gene therapy; chemotherapy
Previously, it was shown that microneedle-mediated transcutaneous immunization with plasmid DNA can potentially induce a stronger immune response than intramuscular injection of the same plasmid DNA. In the present study, we showed that the immune responses induced by transcutaneous immunization by applying plasmid DNA onto a skin area pretreated with solid microneedles were significantly enhanced by coating the plasmid DNA on the surface of cationic nanoparticles. In addition, the net surface charge of the DNA-coated nanoparticles significantly affected their in vitro skin permeation and their ability to induce immune responses in vivo. Transcutaneous immunization with plasmid DNA-coated net positively charged anoparticles elicited a stronger immune response than with plasmid DNA-coated net negatively charged nanoparticles or by intramuscular immunization with plasmid DNA alone. Transcutaneous immunization with plasmid DNA-coated net positively charged nanoparticles induced comparable immune responses as intramuscular injection of them, but transcutaneous immunization was able to induce specific mucosal immunity and a more balanced T helper type 1 and type 2 response. The ability of the net positively charged DNA-coated nanoparticles to induce a strong immune response through microneedle-mediated transcutaneous immunization may be attributed to their ability to increase the expression of the antigen gene encoded by the plasmid and to more effectively stimulate the maturation of antigen-presenting cells.
Antibodies response; cytokines; splenocyte proliferation; skin permeation; antigen gene expression
We have synthesized and investigated properties of new PEI-PEG-based polyplexes containing MC1SP-peptide, a ligand specific for melanocortin receptor-1 (targeted polyplexes), and control polyplexes without this ligand peptide (non-targeted polyplexes). The targeted polyplexes demonstrated receptor-mediated transfection of Cloudman S91 (clone M-3) murine melanoma cells that was more efficient than with the non-targeted ones. Transfection with the targeted polyplexes was inhibited by chlorpromazine, an inhibitor of the clathrin-mediated endocytosis pathway, and, to a lesser extent, by filipin III or nystatin, inhibitors of the lipid-raft endocytosis pathway, whereas transfection with the non-targeted polyplexes was inhibited mainly by nystatin or filipin III. The targeted polyplexes caused significantly higher in vivo transfection of melanoma tumor cells after intratumoral administration compared to the non-targeted control. The targeted polyplexes carrying the HSVtk gene, after ganciclovir administration, more efficiently inhibited melanoma tumor growth and prolonged the lifespan of DBA/2 tumor-bearing mice compared to the non-targeted ones. Packed targeted polyplexes appeared and accumulated in the melanoma cells six hours earlier than the non-targeted ones. The targeted polyplexes enter into the nuclei of the melanoma cells more rapidly than the non-targeted control, and this difference may also be attributed to processes of receptor-mediated endocytosis. We believe that these data may be useful for the optimization of polyplex systems.
polyethylenimine; polyethylene glycol; polyplexes; melanocortin receptor-1; intracellular trafficking; transfection
Oxidant stress caused by pathological elevation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the endothelial cells lining the vascular lumen is an important component of many vascular and pulmonary disease conditions. NADPH oxidase (NOX) activated by pathological mediators including angiotensin and cytokines is a major source of endothelial ROS. In order to intercept this pathological pathway, we have encapsulated an indirect NOX inhibitor, MJ33, into immunoliposomes (Ab-MJ33/IL) targeted to endothelial marker platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM-1). Ab-MJ33/IL, but not control IgG-MJ33/IL specifically bound to endothelium and attenuated angiotensin-induced ROS production in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, Ab-MJ33/IL inhibited endothelial expression of the inflammatory marker vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM) in cells and animals challenged with the cytokine TNF. Furthermore, Ab-MJ33/IL alleviated pathological disruption of endothelial permeability barrier function in cells exposed to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and in the lungs of mice challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Of note, the latter beneficial effect has been achieved both by prophylactic and therapeutic injection of Ab-MJ33/IL in animals. Therefore, specific suppression of ROS production by NOX in endothelium, attainable by Ab-MJ33/IL targeting, may help deciphering mechanisms of vascular oxidative stress and inflammation, and potentially improve treatment of these conditions.
Drugs absorbed poorly through the skin are commonly delivered via injection with a hypodermic needle, which is painful and increases the risk of transmitting infectious diseases. Microneedles (MNs) selectively and painlessly permeabilize the outermost skin layer, allowing otherwise skin-impermeable drugs to cross the skin through micron-sized pores and reach therapeutic concentrations. However, rapid healing of the micropores prevents further drug delivery, blunting the clinical utility of this unique transdermal technique. We present the first human study demonstrating that micropore lifetime can be extended following MN treatment. Subjects received one-time MN treatment and daily topical application of diclofenac sodium. Micropore closure was measured with impedance spectroscopy, and area under the admittance–time curve (AUC) was calculated. AUC was significantly higher at MN + diclofenac sodium sites vs. placebo, suggesting slower rates of micropore healing. Colorimetry measurements confirmed the absence of local erythema and irritation. This mechanistic human proof-of-concept study demonstrates that micropore lifetime can be prolonged with simple topical administration of a non-specific cyclooxygenase inhibitor, suggesting the involvement of subclinical inflammation in micropore healing. These results will allow for longer patch wear time with MN-enhanced delivery, thus increasing patient compliance and expanding the transdermal field to a wider variety of clinical conditions.
Microneedle; Transdermal; Diclofenac; Micropore; Human; Clinical
Biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles are widely recognized as efficacious drug delivery vehicles, yet the rational engineering of nanoparticle surfaces in order to improve biodistribution, reduce clearance, and/or improve targeting remains a significant challenge. We have previously demonstrated that an amphiphilic conjugate of avidin and palmitic acid can be used to modify poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) particle surfaces to display functional avidin groups, allowing for the facile attachment of biotinylated ligands for targeting or steric stabilization. Here, we hypothesized that the incorporation, density, and stability of surface-presented avidin could be modulated through varying the lipophilicity of its fatty acid conjugate partner. We tested this hypothesis by generating a set of novel conjugates incorporating avidin and common fatty acids. We found that conjugation to linoleic acid resulted in a ∼60% increase in the incorporation of avidin on the nanoparticle surface compared to avidin–palmitic acid, which exhibited the highest avidin incorporation in previous studies. Further, the linoleic acid–avidin conjugate yielded nanoparticles with enhanced ability to bind biotinylated ligands compared to the previous method; nanoparticles modified with avidin–linoleic acid bound ∼170% more biotin–HRP than those made with avidin–palmitic acid and ∼1300% more than particles made without conjugated avidin. Most critically, increased ligand density on anti-CD4-targeted nanoparticles formulated with the linoleic acid–avidin conjugate resulted in a 5% increase in binding of CD4+ T cells. Thus we conclude that the novel avidin–linoleic acid conjugate facilitates enhanced ligand density on PLGA nanoparticles, resulting in functional enhancement of cellular targeting.
PLGA; Nanoparticle; Modification; Targeted; Drug delivery; T cells
Concurrent delivery of multiple poorly water-soluble anticancer drugs has been a great challenge due to the toxicities exerted by different surfactants or organic solvents used in solubilizing individual drugs. We previously found that poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(D, L-lactic acid) (PEG-b-PLA) micelles can serve as a safe delivery platform for simultaneous delivery of paclitaxel (PTX), 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), and rapamycin (RAP) to mice. The high tolerance of this polymeric micelle formulation by mice allowed us to investigate the pharmacokinetics of the 3 co-delivered drugs. In this study, it was shown that 3-in-1 PEG-b-PLA micelle delivering high doses of PTX, 17-AAG, and RAP (60, 60, and 30 mg/kg, respectively) significantly increased the values of the area under the plasma concentration-time curves (AUC) of PTX and RAP in mice compared to the drugs delivered individually, while the pharmacokinetic parameters of 17-AAG were similar in both 3-in-1 and single drug-loaded PEG-b-PLA micelle formulations. Moreover, pharmacokinetic study using 2-in-1 micelles indicated that the augmented AUC value of RAP was due to the co-delivery of 17-AAG, while the increase in AUC of PTX was more likely caused by the co-delivery of RAP. In contrast, when 3-in-1 and single drug-loaded PEG-b-PLA micelles were administrated at modest dose (PTX, 17-AAG, and RAP at 10, 10, and 5 mg/kg, respectively), pharmacokinetic differences of individual drugs between 3-in-1 and single drug formulations were eliminated. These results suggest that 3-in-1 PEG-b-PLA micelles can concurrently deliver PTX, 17-AAG, and RAP without changing the pharmacokinetics of each drug at modest doses, but altered pharmacokinetic profiles emerge when drugs are delivered at higher doses.
Paclitaxel; 17-Allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG); Rapamycin; PEG-b-PLA micelles; Pharmacokinetics
Bioavailability of oral drugs, particularly large hydrophilic agents, is often limited by poor adhesion and transport across gastrointestinal (GI) epithelial cells. Drug delivery systems, such as sub-micrometer polymer carriers (nanocarriers, NCs) coupled to affinity moieties that target GI surface markers involved in transport, may improve this aspect. To explore this strategy, we coated 100-nm polymer particles with an antibody to ICAM-1 (a protein expressed on the GI epithelium and other tissues) and evaluated targeting, uptake, and transport in human GI epithelial cells. Fluorescence and electron microscopy, and radioisotope tracing revealed that anti-ICAM NCs specifically bound to cells in culture, were internalized via CAM-mediated endocytosis, trafficked by transcytosis across cell monolayers without disrupting the permeability barrier or cell viability, and enabled transepithelial transport of a model therapeutic enzyme (α-galactosidase, deficient in lysosomal Fabry disease). These results indicate that ICAM-1 targeting may provide delivery of therapeutics, such as enzymes, to and across the GI epithelium.
ICAM-1; polymer nanocarriers; gastrointestinal epithelium; transcellular transport; enzyme delivery