A novel, fast and easy mechano-chemistry-based (dry milling) method has been developed to exfoliate graphene with hydrophobic drugs generating few layer graphene mesosheets (< 10 nm in thickness and ~ 1 µm in width). The electronic properties of the graphitic structure were partially preserved after the milling treatment compared to Graphene Oxide (GO) prepared by Hummers' method. Several characterization techniques such as thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), Electron Microscopy (EM) and molecular dynamics simulation were used to characterize this material. The drug-exfoliated mesosheets were pharmacologically inactive offering a new approach for making water-soluble few-layer graphene mesosheets upon dry milling with hydrophobic drugs, mainly used as exfoliating agents.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) exhibit unique properties which have led to their applications in the biomedical field as novel delivery systems for diagnosis and therapy purposes. We have previously reported that the degree of functionalization of CNTs is a key factor determining their biological behaviour. The present study broadens the spectrum by investigating the impact of the diameter of CNTs using two series of multi-walled CNTs (MWNTs) with distinct differences in their diameters. Both MWNTs were doubly functionalized by 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition and amidation reactions, allowing the appended functional groups to be further conjugated with radionuclide chelating moieties and antibodies or antibody fragments. All constructs possessed comparable degree of functionalization and were characterized by thermogravimetric analysis, transmission electron microscopy, gel electrophoresis and surface plasmon resonance. The MWNT conjugates were radio-labelled with indium-111, which thereby enabled in vivo single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) imaging and organ biodistribution study using ?-scintigraphy. The narrow MWNTs (average diameter: 9.2 nm) demonstrated enhanced tissue affinity including non-reticular endothelial tissues compared to the wider MWNTs (average diameter: 39.5 nm). The results indicate that the higher aspect ratio of narrow MWNTs may be beneficial for their future biological applications due to higher tissue accumulation.
In this work we describe the formulation and characterization of chemically modified polymeric nanocapsules incorporating the anticancer drug, quercetin, for the passive and active targeting to tumors. Folic acid was conjugated to poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) polymer to facilitate active targeting to cancer cells. Two different methods for the conjugation of PLGA to folic acid were employed utilizing polyethylene glycol (PEG) as a spacer. Characterization of the conjugates was performed using FTIR and (1)H NMR studies. The PEG and folic acid content was independent of the conjugation methodology employed. PEGylation has shown to reduce the size of the nanocapsule; moreover, zeta-potential was shown to be polymer-type dependent. Comparative studies on the cytotoxicity and cellular uptake of the different formulations by HeLa cells, in the presence and absence of excess folic acid, were carried out using MTT assay and Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy, respectively. Both results confirmed the selective uptake and cytotoxicity of the folic acid targeted nanocapsules to the folate enriched cancer cells in a folate-dependent manner. Finally, the passive tumor accumulation and the active targeting of the nanocapsules to folate-expressing cells were confirmed upon intravenous administration in HeLa or IGROV-1 tumor-bearing mice. The developed nanocapsules provide a system for targeted delivery of a range of hydrophobic anticancer drugs in vivo.
There is "hype" surrounding passive and active drug targeting of diseased tissues in vivo. The most common example of passive targeting is the utilisation of the "enhanced permeation and retention" phenomenon to target solid tumours and inflamed tissues. Alternatively, targeting moieties or "ligands" could be conjugated to the delivery system offering "actively" targeted delivery systems. The targets are usually receptors that are up-regulated in the biological areas of interest. Targeted drug delivery has been proposed to treat many diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. However, the most important application of targeted drug delivery is to treat cancerous tumours. Standardisation of in vitro and in vivo assays currently in place to assess the targeting efficiency of such systems is of utmost importance since heterogeneity in targeting assays and target validation could easily bias conclusions made affecting the future perspective of the field of active drug targeting.
Highly viscous mucus poses a big challenge for the delivery of particulates carrying therapeutics to patients with cystic fibrosis. In this study, surface modifying DNase I loaded particles using different excipients to achieve better lung deposition, higher enzyme stability or better biological activity had been exploited. For the purpose, controlled release microparticles (MP) were prepared by co-spray drying DNase I with the polymer poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and the biocompatible lipid surfactant 1,2-dipalmitoyl-Sn-phosphatidyl choline (DPPC) using various hydrophilic excipients. The effect of the included modifiers on the particle morphology, size, zeta potential as well as enzyme encapsulation efficiency, biological activity and release had been evaluated. Powder aerosolisation performance and particle phagocytosis by murine macrophages were also investigated. The results showed that more than 80% of enzyme activity was recovered after MP preparation and that selected surface modifiers greatly increased the enzyme encapsulation efficiency. The particle morphology was greatly modified altering in turn the powders inhalation indices where dextran, ovalbumin and chitosan hydrochloride increased considerably the respirable fraction compared to the normal hydrophilic carriers lactose and PVP. Despite of the improved aerosolisation caused by chitosan hydrochloride, yet retardation of chitosan coated particles in artificial mucus samples discouraged its application. On the other hand, dextran and polyanions enhanced DNase I effect in reducing cystic fibrosis mucus viscosity. DPPC proved good ability to reduce particles phagocytic uptake even in the presence of the selected adjuvants. The prepared MP systems were biocompatible with lung epithelial cells. To conclude, controlled release DNase I loaded PLGA-MP with high inhalation indices and enhanced mucolytic activity on CF sputum could be obtained by surface modifying the particles with PGA or dextran.
We report in this study the complexation of the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin (DOX) with the novel sixth-generation cationic poly-l-lysine dendrimer (DM) (MW 8149 kDa), which we previously reported to exhibit systemic antiangiogenic activity in tumor-bearing mice. DOX-DM complexation was confirmed by florescence polarization measurement, proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and molecular modeling. Enhanced penetration of DOX-DM (at 1:10 molar ratio), compared to the free DOX, into prostate 3D multicellular tumor spheroids (MTS) was confirmed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Furthermore, DOX-DM complexes achieved a significantly higher cytotoxicity in DU145 MTS system compared to the free drug, as shown by growth delay curves. Incubation of MTS with low DOX concentration (1 ?M) complexed with DM led to a significant delay in MTS growth compared to untreated MTS or MTS treated with free DOX. DOX-DM complex retention was also achieved in a Calu-6 lung cancer xenograft model in tumor-bearing mice, as shown by live whole animal fluorescence imaging. Therapeutic experiments in B16F10 tumor bearing mice have shown enhanced therapeutic efficacy of DOX when complexed to DM. This study suggests that the cationic poly-l-lysine DM molecules studied here could, in addition to their systemic antiangiogenic property, complex chemotherapeutic drugs such as DOX and improve their accumulation and cytotoxicity into MTS and solid tumors in vivo. Such an approach offers new capabilities for the design of combinatory antiangiogenic/anticancer therapeutics.
A series of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) conjugates is described, functionalized with different dendrons bearing positive charges at their termini (i.e. ammonium or guanidinium groups). The dendrimeric units are anchored to the nanotube scaffolds using two orthogonal synthetic approaches, amidation and click reactions. The final nanohybrids are characterized by complementary analytical techniques, while their ability to interact with siRNA is investigated by means of agarose gel electrophoresis. The demonstration of the cell uptake capacity, the low cytotoxicity, and the ability of these cationic conjugates to silence cytotoxic genes suggests them to be promising carriers for genetic material.
The potential use of functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs) for drug and gene delivery to the central nervous system (CNS) and as neural substrates makes the understanding of their in vivo interactions with the neural tissue essential. The aim of this study was to investigate the interactions between chemically functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (f-MWNTs) and the neural tissue following cortical stereotactic administration. Two different f-MWNT constructs were used in these studies: shortened (by oxidation) amino-functionalized MWNT (oxMWNT-NH3 (+)) and amino-functionalized MWNT (MWNT-NH3 (+)). Parenchymal distribution of the stereotactically injected f-MWNTs was assessed by histological examination. Both f-MWNT were uptaken by different types of neural tissue cells (microglia, astrocytes and neurons), however different patterns of cellular internalization were observed between the nanotubes. Furthermore, immunohistochemical staining for specific markers of glial cell activation (GFAP and CD11b) was performed and secretion of inflammatory cytokines was investigated using real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Injections of both f-MWNT constructs led to a local and transient induction of inflammatory cytokines at early time points. Oxidation of nanotubes seemed to induce significant levels of GFAP and CD11b over-expression in areas peripheral to the f-MWNT injection site. These results highlight the importance of nanotube functionalization on their interaction with brain tissue that is deemed critical for the development nanotube-based vector systems for CNS applications.
This work aims to exploit the antenna properties of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). They can be used to induce cell permeabilization in order to transfer drugs (normally impermeable to cell membranes) both in in vitro and in vivo models.
Stroke is the second cause of death worldwide with ischemic stroke accounting for 80% of all stroke insults. Caspase-3 activation contributes to brain tissue loss and downstream biochemical events that lead to programmed cell death after traumatic brain injury. Alleviation of symptoms following ischemic neuronal injury can be potentially achieved by either genetic disruption or pharmacological inhibition of caspases. Here, we studied whether silencing of Caspase-3 using carbon nanotube-mediated in vivo RNA interference (RNAi) could offer a therapeutic opportunity against stroke. Effective delivery of siRNA directly to the CNS has been shown to normalize phenotypes in animal models of several neurological diseases. It is shown here that peri-lesional stereotactic administration of a Caspase-3 siRNA (siCas 3) delivered by functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNT) reduced neurodegeneration and promoted functional preservation before and after focal ischemic damage of the rodent motor cortex using an endothelin-1 induced stroke model. These observations illustrate the opportunity offered by carbon nanotube-mediated siRNA delivery and gene silencing of neuronal tissue applicable to a variety of different neuropathological conditions where intervention at well localized brain foci may offer therapeutic and functional benefits.
The impact of nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes on biological matter is a topic of increasing interest and concern and requires a multifaceted approach to be resolved. A modified cytotoxic (lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)) assay is developed in an attempt to offer a valid and reliable methodology for screening carbon nanotube toxicity in vitro. Two of the most widely used types of surface-modified multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) are tested: ammonium-functionalized MWNTs (MWNT-NH3+ ) and Pluronic F127 coated MWNTs (MWNT:F127). Chemically functionalized MWNTs show significantly greater cellular uptake into lung epithelial A549 cells compared to the non-covalently Pluronic F127-coated MWNTs. In spite of this, MWNT:F127 exhibit enhanced cytotoxicity according to the modified LDH assay. The validity of the modified LDH assay is further validated by direct comparison with other less reliable or accurate cytotoxicity assays. These findings indicate the reliability of the modified LDH assay as a screening tool to assess carbon nanotube cytotoxicity and illustrate that high levels of carbon nanotube cellular internalization do not necessarily lead to adverse responses.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are being investigated for a variety of biomedical applications. Despite numerous studies, the pathways by which carbon nanotubes enter cells and their subsequent intracellular trafficking and distribution remain poorly determined. Here, we use 3-D electron tomography techniques that offer optimum enhancement of contrast between carbon nanotubes and the plasma membrane to investigate the mechanisms involved in the cellular uptake of shortened, functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT-NH(3)(+)). Both human lung epithelial (A549) cells, that are almost incapable of phagocytosis and primary macrophages, capable of extremely efficient phagocytosis, were used. We observed that MWNT-NH(3)(+) were internalised in both phagocytic and non-phagocytic cells by any one of three mechanisms: (a) individually via membrane wrapping; (b) individually by direct membrane translocation; and (c) in clusters within vesicular compartments. At early time points following intracellular translocation, we noticed accumulation of nanotube material within various intracellular compartments, while a long-term (14-day) study using primary human macrophages revealed that MWNT-NH(3)(+) were able to escape vesicular (phagosome) entrapment by translocating directly into the cytoplasm.
The field of nanotoxicology recently has emerged out of the need to systematically study the biocompatibility and potential adverse effects of novel nanomaterials. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are one of the most interesting types of nanomaterials, and recently, their use in applications has dramatically increased. Their potential adverse impact on human health and the environment, however, have caused them to be viewed with apprehension in certain cases so further studies into their toxicology are justified. Current methodologies using cell culture (in vitro) models are unreliable and are not yet able to offer conclusive results about the toxicity profile of CNT. The need for reliable and rapid toxicity assays that will allow high throughput screening of nanotube materials is a prerequisite for the valid assessment of CNT toxicity. The assay described here was developed based on the pitfalls and drawbacks of traditionally used cytotoxicity assays. A methodological description of the main problems associated with the MTT and the LDH assays is offered to illustrate the advantages of this novel assay for the study and determination of the cytotoxic profile of CNT. Most importantly, a thorough account of this novel assay which is considered to be rapid, reliable, and suitable for broad-spectrum cytotoxicity screening of different types of CNT is described.
The fibrous shape of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) raises concern that they may pose an asbestos-like inhalation hazard, leading to the development of diseases, especially mesothelioma. Direct instillation of long and short CNTs into the pleural cavity, the site of mesothelioma development, produced asbestos-like length-dependent responses. The response to long CNTs and long asbestos was characterized by acute inflammation, leading to progressive fibrosis on the parietal pleura, where stomata of strictly defined size limit the egress of long, but not short, fibers. This was confirmed by demonstrating clearance of short, but not long, CNT and nickel nanowires and by visualizing the migration of short CNTs from the pleural space by single-photon emission computed tomographic imaging. Our data confirm the hypothesis that, although a proportion of all deposited particles passes through the pleura, the pathogenicity of long CNTs and other fibers arises as a result of length-dependent retention at the stomata on the parietal pleura.
A few studies have attempted to combine the physicochemical versatility offered by the liposome structure with the superior optical characteristics of quantum dots (QD) for the construction of multifunctional nanoparticles. We are reporting the construction of drug-loaded liposome-QD hybrid vesicles (L-QD) by incorporating TOPO-capped, CdSe/ZnS QD into the two types of lipid bilayers: the rigid disteroylphosphatidylcholine (DSPC:Chol:DSPE-PEG(2000)) and a fluid-phase bilayer of egg PC (EPC:Chol:DSPE-PEG(2000)). Structural characterization of L-QD hybrid vesicles using atomic force microscopy (AFM) revealed that the incorporation of QD took place by hydrophobic self-association within the membranes. The encapsulation of hydrophilic small molecules in the internal aqueous phase of the L-QD hybrids showed different degrees of carboxyfluorescein (CF) release in buffer and serum, depending on the type of lipid used. The presence of QD in the lipid bilayer increased the CF release from EPC fluid bilayer. On the other hand, (DSPC) L-QD hybrids showed a higher stability under the same conditions with minimal CF leakage. Furthermore, (DSPC) L-QD hybrids showed a stable mean diameter up to three weeks stored at 4°C, 25°C, and 40°C, determined by photo correlation spectroscopy (PCS) analysis. Finally, doxorubicin (Dox) was loaded into L-QD hybrids using the osmotic gradient technique and with at least 97% loading efficiency. The fluorescence spectrum of Dox was simultaneously detected with that of green-emitting QD that indicated the coexistence of QD and Dox in a single vesicle system. In conclusion, the drug-loaded L-QD-Dox hybrid vesicles presented here constitute a promising multifunctional delivery vector capable of transporting combinations of therapeutic and diagnostic modalities.
Rapid expansion of nanoparticle research demands new technologies that will enable better interpretation of experimental data and assistance in the rational design of future nanoparticles. The use of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models may serve as powerful tools to meet these needs. PBPK models have been successfully applied for the study of the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) of small molecules, such as drugs. Preliminary application of PBPK models to nanoparticles illustrated their potential usefulness for nanoparticle ADME research. However, due to the differences between nanoparticles and small molecules, modifications are needed to build appropriate PBPK models for nanoparticles. This review is divided into two sections, with the first discussing nanoparticle ADME research, emphasizing the interaction of nanoparticles with living systems, including transportation kinetics across biobarriers. In the second section, the basic principles of PBPK model development are introduced, and research pertaining to PBPK models of nanoparticles is reviewed. Factors that need to be considered for developing PBPK models for nanoparticles are also discussed. Finally, perspective applications of nanoparticle PBPK models are summarized.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) consist of carbon atoms arranged in sheets of graphene rolled up into cylindrical shapes. This class of nanomaterials has attracted attention because of their extraordinary properties, such as high electrical and thermal conductivity. In addition, development in CNT functionalization chemistry has led to an enhanced dispersibility in aqueous physiological media which indeed broadens the spectrum for their potential biological applications including gene delivery. The aim of this study is to determine the capability of different cationic polymer-grafted multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) (polymer-g-MWNTs) to efficiently complex and transfer plasmid DNA (pCMV-?Gal) in vitro without promoting cytotoxicity. Carboxylated MWNT is chemically conjugated to the cationic polymers polyethylenimine (PEI), polyallylamine (PAA), or a mixture of the two polymers. In order to explore the potential of these polymer-g-MWNTs as gene delivery systems, we first study their capacity to complex plasmid DNA (pDNA) using agarose gel electrophoresis. Gel migration studies confirm pDNA binding to polymer-g-MWNT with different affinities, highest for PEI-g-MWNT and PEI/PAA-g-CNT constructs. ?-galactosidase expression is assessed in human lung epithelial (A549) cells, and the cytotoxicity is determined by modified LDH assay after 24 h incubation period. Additionally, PEI-g-MWNT and/or PEI/PAA-g-MWNT reveal an improvement in gene expression when compared to the naked pDNA or to the equivalent amounts of PEI polymer alone. Mechanistically, pDNA was delivered by the polymer-g-MWNT constructs via a different pathway compared to those used by polyplexes. In conclusion, polymer-g-MWNTs may be considered in the future as a versatile tool for efficient gene transfer in cancer cells in vitro, provided their toxicological profile is established.
One of the major obstacles to the clinical development of gene silencing by small interfering RNA (siRNA) is its effective cytoplasmic delivery. Carbon nanotubes have been proposed as novel nanomaterials that can offer significant advantages for the intracellular delivery of nucleic acids, such as siRNA. We recently demonstrated in a proof-of-principle study that amino-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (f-MWNT) can effectively deliver in vivo an siRNA sequence, triggering cell apoptosis that results in human lung xenograft eradication and prolonged survival. In the present study, we demonstrate how a newly synthesized series of polycationic dendron-MWNT constructs with a precisely tailored number of amino functions (dendron generations) can complex and effectively deliver double-stranded siRNA to achieve gene silencing in vitro. A systematic comparison between the f-MWNT series in terms of cellular uptake, cytotoxicity, and siRNA complexation is offered. Significant improvement in siRNA delivery with the dendron-MWNT conjugates is shown, and gene silencing was obtained in 2 human cell lines using 2 different siRNA sequences. The study reveals that through f-MWNT structure-biological function analysis novel nanotube-based siRNA transfer vectors can be designed with minimal cytotoxicity and effective delivery and gene-silencing capabilities.
The field of carbon nanotube (CNT) functionalization is increasingly growing for the purpose of enhancing the biocompatibility of CNT for medical and biological applications. Properties of CNT such as the type of functionalization, charge density, and the dispersibility profile are expected to modulate CNT cellular uptake and toxicity profile in vitro. The assay described here allows for rapid screening of CNT cellular uptake in vitro and assessing the acute cytotoxicity simultaneously. CNT cellular uptake is measured qualitatively by light scattering analysis without differentiating between cell binding and internalisation of the CNT by the cells. In addition, flow cytometry is used to combine light scattering analysis with flow cytometry-based Annexin V/propidium iodide assay to measure the cytotoxicity. This assay is rapid, reliable, and allows for comparative analysis between various types of CNT studied.
Functionalization of nanomaterials for precise biomedical function is an emerging trend in nanotechnology. Carbon nanotubes are attractive as multifunctional carrier systems because payload can be encapsulated in internal space whilst outer surfaces can be chemically modified. Yet, despite potential as drug delivery systems and radiotracers, such filled-and-functionalized carbon nanotubes have not been previously investigated in vivo. Here we report covalent functionalization of radionuclide-filled single-walled carbon nanotubes and their use as radioprobes. Metal halides, including Na(125)I, were sealed inside single-walled carbon nanotubes to create high-density radioemitting crystals and then surfaces of these filled-sealed nanotubes were covalently modified with biantennary carbohydrates, improving dispersibility and biocompatibility. Intravenous administration of Na(125)I-filled glyco-single-walled carbon nanotubes in mice was tracked in vivo using single-photon emission computed tomography. Specific tissue accumulation (here lung) coupled with high in vivo stability prevented leakage of radionuclide to high-affinity organs (thyroid/stomach) or excretion, and resulted in ultrasensitive imaging and delivery of unprecedented radiodose density. Nanoencapsulation of iodide within single-walled carbon nanotubes enabled its biodistribution to be completely redirected from tissue with innate affinity (thyroid) to lung. Surface functionalization of (125)I-filled single-walled carbon nanotubes offers versatility towards modulation of biodistribution of these radioemitting crystals in a manner determined by the capsule that delivers them. We envisage that organ-specific therapeutics and diagnostics can be developed on the basis of the nanocapsule model described here.
This study describes the previously unreported intrinsic capacity of poly-L-lysine (PLL) sixth generation (G(6)) dendrimer molecules to exhibit systemic antiangiogenic activity that could lead to solid tumor growth arrest. The PLL-dendrimer-inhibited tubule formation of SVEC4-10 murine endothelial cells and neovascularization in the chick embryo chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay. Intravenous administration of the PLL-dendrimer molecules into C57BL/6 mice inhibited vascularisation in Matrigel plugs implanted subcutaneously. Antiangiogenic activity was further evidenced using intravital microscopy of tumors grown within dorsal skinfold window chambers. Reduced vascularization of P22 rat sarcoma implanted in the dorsal window chamber of SCID mice was observed following tail vein administration (i.v.) of the PLL dendrimers. Also, the in vivo toxicological profile of the PLL-dendrimer molecules was shown to be safe at the dose regime studied. The antiangiogenic activity of the PLL dendrimer was further shown to be associated with significant suppression of B16F10 solid tumor volume and delayed tumor growth. Enhanced apoptosis/necrosis within tumors of PLL-dendrimer-treated animals only and reduction in the number of CD31 positive cells were observed in comparison to protamine treatment. This study suggests that PLL-dendrimer molecules can exhibit a systemic antiangiogenic activity that may be used for therapy of solid tumors, and in combination with their capacity to carry other therapeutic or diagnostic agents may potentially offer capabilities for the design of theranostic systems.
A strategy to target functionalized quantum dot-liposome (f-QD-L) hybrid vesicles in the solid tumor tissue of tumor-bearing mice is explored. Functionalized polyethylene glycol (PEG)-lipid coated QD (f-QD) were encapsulated into the aqueous core of 100 nm cationic (DOPC:Chol: DOTAP); sterically stabilized, fluid-phase (DOPC:Chol:DSPE-PEG2000); and sterically stabilized, gel-phase (DSPC:Chol:DSPE-PEG2000) liposome vesicles. Double tracking of f-QD-L in blood was performed at different time points after intravenous administration in B16F10 melanoma tumor-bearing C57BL6 mice. Cholesteryl [-1-14C] oleate lipids probed the vesicle membrane were followed by liquid scintillation counting while QD were determined independently by elemental (Cd2+) analysis using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Rapid blood clearance was observed following intravenous administration of the cationic hybrid vesicles, while incorporation of PEG at the surface of zwitterionic vesicles dramatically prolonged their blood circulation half-life after systemic administration. The "rigid" PEGylated f-QD-L (DSPC:Chol:DSPE-PEG2000) hybrid vesicles led to rapid tumor accumulation of peak values (approximately 5% of injected dose per gram tissue) of QD compared to long-circulating f-QD that accumulated in the tumor tissue at longer time points. More interestingly, this hybrid vesicle tumor retention persisted for at least 24 h. For almost all types of systems, a preferential cadmium uptake by liver and spleen was obtained. Overall, f-QD-L hybrid vesicles offer great potential for tumor imaging applications due to their rapid accumulation and prolonged retention within the tumor. Furthermore, f-QD-L offer many opportunities for the development of combinatory therapeutic and imaging (theranostic) modalities by incorporating both drug molecules and QD within the different compartments of a single vesicle.
The present work describes the pharmacokinetics of recently developed liposome-quantum dot (L-QD) hybrid vesicles in nude mice following systemic administration. Hydrophobic QD were incorporated into different bilayer compositions, and the serum stability of such hybrid vesicles was evaluated using turbidity and carboxyfluorescein release measurements. L-QD hybrid blood profile and organ biodistribution were also determined by elemental (cadmium) analysis. Following intravenous administration, different tissue biodistribution profiles and tissue affinities were observed depending on the L-QD lipid bilayer characteristics. Immediate blood clearance was observed with cationic (DOTAP/DOPE/Chol) hybrid with rapid lung accumulation, while incorporation of PEG at the surface of zwitterionic vesicles dramatically prolonged their blood circulation half-life after systemic administration. Overall, the L-QD hybrid vesicle system is considered a viable platform that allows QD delivery to different tissues through facile modulation of the hybrid vesicle characteristics. In addition, L-QD offers many opportunities for the development of combinatory therapeutic and imaging (theranostic) modalities by incorporating both drug molecules and QD within the different compartments of a single vesicle.
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) can substantially improve the sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We propose that SPIONs could be used to target and image cancer cells if functionalized with recombinant single chain Fv antibody fragments (scFv). We tested our hypothesis by generating antibody-functionalized (abf) SPIONs using a scFv specific for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), an oncofoetal cell surface protein. SPIONs of different hydrodynamic diameter and surface chemistry were investigated and targeting was confirmed by ELISA, cellular iron uptake, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and MRI. Results demonstrated that abf-SPIONs bound specifically to CEA-expressing human tumour cells, generating selective image contrast on MRI. In addition, we observed that the cellular interaction of the abf-SPIONs was influenced by hydrodynamic size and surface coating. The results indicate that abf-SPIONs have potential for cancer-specific MRI.
A new series of dendron-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT) derivatives, characterized by the presence of numerous positively charged tetraalkyl ammonium salts at the periphery of the dendron, has been synthesized. The positive charges on the MWNT surface, coupled with the unique ability of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to penetrate cell membranes, make the new derivatives potentially ideal vectors for siRNA delivery. Using a fluorescently labeled, noncoding siRNA sequence, we demonstrate that cytoplasmic delivery of the nucleic acid is remarkably increased throughout the different dendron generations. The work reported here highlights the fact that dendron-functionalized CNTs can be rationally designed as efficient carriers of siRNA that can eventually lead to gene silencing.
Carbon nanotubes are novel nanomaterials that are thought to offer potential benefits to a variety of biomedical and clinical applications. In this study, the treatment of a human lung carcinoma model in vivo using siRNA sequences leading to cytotoxicity and cell death is carried out using either cationic liposomes (DOTAP:cholesterol) or amino-functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT - NH(+)(3)). Validation for the most cytotoxic siRNA sequence using a panel of human carcinoma and murine cells reveals that the proprietary siTOX sequence is human specific and can lead to significant cytotoxic activities delivered both by liposome or MWNT - NH(+)(3) in vitro. A comparative study using both types of vector indicates that only MWNT - NH(+)(3):siRNA complexes administered intratumorally can elicit delayed tumor growth and increased survival of xenograft-bearing animals. siTOX delivery via the cationic MWNT - NH(+)(3) is biologically active in vivo by triggering an apoptotic cascade, leading to extensive necrosis of the human tumor mass. This suggests that carbon-nanotube-mediated delivery of siRNA by intratumoral administration leads to successful and statistically significant suppression of tumor volume, followed by a concomitant prolongation of survival of human lung tumor-bearing animals. The direct comparison between carbon nanotubes and liposomes demonstrates the potential advantages offered by carbon nanotubes for the intracellular delivery of therapeutic agents in vivo. The present work may act as the impetus for further studies to explore the therapeutic capacity of chemically functionalized carbon nanotubes to deliver siRNA directly into the cytoplasm of target cells and achieve effective therapeutic silencing in various disease indications where local delivery is feasible or desirable.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are increasingly being utilized in neurological applications as components of implants, electrodes or as delivery vehicles. Any application that involves implantation or injection of CNTs into the CNS needs to address the distribution and fate of the material following interaction and residence within the neuronal tissue. Here we report a preliminary study investigating the fate and structural integrity of amino-functionalized CNTs following stereotactic administration in the brain cortex.
Getting rid of the tubes: An assessment of the retention of functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in the organs of mice was carried out using single photon emission computed tomography and quantitative scintigraphy (see scheme). Increasing the degree of functionalization on MWNTs enhanced renal clearance, while lower functionalization promoted reticuloendethelial system accumulation.
Nanomedicine is an emerging field that proposes the application of precisely engineered nanomaterials for the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of certain diseases, including neurological pathologies. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are a new class of nanomaterials, which have been shown to be promising in different areas of nanomedicine. In this review, the application of CNT interfacing with the central nervous system (CNS) will be described, and representative examples of neuroprosthetic devices, such as neuronal implants and electrodes will be discussed. Furthermore, the possible application of CNT-based materials as regenerative matrices of neuronal tissue and as delivery systems for the therapy of CNS will be presented.
Treatment and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and other CNS disorders are nowadays considered some of the most challenging tasks in modern medicine. The development of effective strategies for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of CNS pathologies require better understanding of neurological disorders that is still lacking. The use of nanomaterials is thought to contribute to our further understanding of the CNS and the development of novel therapeutic and diagnostic modalities for neurological interventions. Even though the application of nanoparticles in neuroscience is still embryonic, this article attempts to illustrate the use of different types of nanomaterials and the way in which they have been used in various CNS applications in an attempt to limit or reverse neuropathological processes.
Understanding the mechanisms responsible for carbon nanotube (CNT) internalisation into live cells is considered critical both from a fundamental point of view and for further engineering of CNT-based delivery systems to intracellular targets. While several studies are focused on the development of such CNT-based delivery systems, attempts to systematically elucidate the cellular uptake mechanisms of CNTs are still rather limited. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the cellular internalisation of chemically functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes (f-MWCNTs) in the presence of different well-known cellular uptake inhibitors. Our data reveal how f-MWCNTs are able to translocate across cell membranes of both phagocytic and non-phagocytic cell lines. We have evidenced that at least 30-50% of f-MWCNTs are taken up by cells through an energy-independent mechanism. This characteristic makes nanotubes loaded with therapeutic or diagnostic cargos extremely interesting as the release of active molecules directly into the cytoplasm increase their biological activity and therapeutic efficacy.
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