Scientists from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) and their collaborators from Hadassah Medical Center have designed new hybrid nanostructured particles that may help fight cancer.
Image Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych/shutterstock.com
These nanoparticles can be magnetically directed to the tumor, monitored by their fluorescence and forced to discharge the drug when required by ultrasound. The novel technology can lead to more targeted cancer chemotherapy.
The article was published in the Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces journal.
Existing cancer treatments include surgery, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiation, but most often, these treatments are not sufficiently selective to target only the tumor and not the healthy tissues surrounding it.
Such therapies are also extremely harmful to the entire organism, which makes it difficult for patients to tolerate the treatment. One promising solution to overcome these issues is the supposed focal therapy, particularly delivering drugs to the tumor in nanoparticles, for which many biocompatible materials have been investigated.
The new technology may even be utilized for diagnostic purposes, expanding medical imaging.
The Skoltech research team designed multifunctional nanostructured particles that contain fluorescent Cy5 or Cy7 dyes, magnetic nanoparticles, and the drug called doxorubicin.
The team was headed by Professor Dmitry Gorin from the Center for Photonics and Quantum Materials and Professor Timofei Zatsepin from the Center for Life Sciences.
MRI imaging was carried out by Dr Kirill Petrov from the Hadassah Medical Center.
The equipment of the Bioimaging and Spectroscopy Core Facility at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology was also used to perform fluorescent tomography, dynamic light scattering, and histology analyses.
Such small capsules can be magnetically directed to the particular tumor sites and deliver an excellent contrast in high-resolution MRI, fluorescent and optoacoustic imaging. They can also be activated to discharge the medication with ultrasound.
Multicomponent capsules enable multi-functionality of the capsules, such as remote release (focused ultrasound), multimodality for imaging (MRI, optoacoustic and fluorescent), and navigation (magnetic field gradient).
Drug delivery carriers were prepared by combination of two methods. The first one was suggested by the co-authors of this article earlier and is called freezing induced method (FIL). This method has been successfully applied for loading of vaterite submicron particles by inorganic nanoparticles, proteins, low molecular drugs, etc.
Dmitry Gorin, Professor, Center for Photonics and Quantum Materials, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology
“The vaterite particles served as templates for drug delivery carriers and were removed after formation of a polymeric shell. Second method is layer by layer assembly that has been used for polymer biodegradable shell formation,” added Professor Gorin.
The researchers used in vivo animal studies and in vitro experiments to demonstrate that the technique is functional. They were also able to demonstrate increased targeted delivery of doxorubicin in the liver following the ultrasound-controlled release.
This technology should pass preclinical studies using animal models to evaluate therapeutic efficiency and safety of such drug delivery system. It will be the next step of our research.
Timofei Zatsepin, Professor, Center of Life Sciences, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology
Novoselovaa, M. V., et al. (2021) Multifunctional nanostructured drug delivery carriers for cancer therapy: Multimodal imaging and ultrasound-induced drug release. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2021.111576.