Designing the surface properties of expansile nanoparticles for targeted cancer therapy
Stolzoff, Michelle L.
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Nanoparticle-based drug delivery has been explored to circumvent the often-toxic chemotherapy treatments used today by providing a more efficient and specific delivery to diseased tissues. Recently we have developed polymeric pH-responsive expansile nanoparticles (eNPs) for intracellular delivery of paclitaxel (Pax) as an improvement upon the traditional methods of delivery of Pax with using Cremophor/ethanol. As eNPs are internalized by the cell, the hydrophobic protecting groups found on side chains along the polymer backbone are hydrolyzed, leaving behind hydrophilic moieties that cause the eNPs to slowly swell with water. In this manner, the encapsulation and controlled release of a hydrophobic drug can be achieved. By altering the surface characteristics of the eNPs, one can change the behavior of the delivery vehicle as well as the biological response. To explore this approach, two surfactant strategies were employed. Specifically, the original sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) surfactant has been substituted with PEGylated surfactants (either lipids or poloxamer) to improve circulation and in vivo stability. In addition, these surfactants were functionalized to target the folate receptor (FR), which is overexpressed in several cancers, in order to increase cancer cell-specific localization and uptake. The resulting eNPs retained their swelling characteristics while demonstrating improved cellular uptake in folate receptor-expressing KB and MDA-MB-231 carcinoma cells with no change in uptake in A549 cells, which do not express the folate receptor.
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