bims-drudre Biomed News
on Targeted drug delivery and programmed release mechanisms
Issue of 2021‒02‒21
twelve papers selected by
Ceren Kimna
Technical University of Munich

  1. Nat Commun. 2021 02 18. 12(1): 1138
      DNA nanostructures have been demonstrated as promising carriers for gene delivery. In the carrier design, spatiotemporally programmable assembly of DNA under nanoconfinement is important but has proven highly challenging due to the complexity-scalability-error of DNA. Herein, a DNA nanotechnology-based strategy via the cascade hybridization chain reaction (HCR) of DNA hairpins in polymeric nanoframework has been developed to achieve spatiotemporally programmable assembly of DNA under nanoconfinement for precise siRNA delivery. The nanoframework is prepared via precipitation polymerization with Acrydite-DNA as cross-linker. The potential energy stored in the loops of DNA hairpins can overcome the steric effect in the nanoframework, which can help initiate cascade HCR of DNA hairpins and achieve efficient siRNA loading. The designer tethering sequence between DNA and RNA guarantees a triphosadenine triggered siRNA release specifically in cellular cytoplasm. Nanoframework provides stability and ease of functionalization, which helps address the complexity-scalability-error of DNA. It is exemplified that the phenylboronate installation on nanoframework enhanced cellular uptake and smoothed the lysosomal escape. Cellular results show that the siRNA loaded nanoframework down-regulated the levels of relevant mRNA and protein. In vivo experiments show significant therapeutic efficacy of using siPLK1 loaded nanoframework to suppress tumor growth.
  2. ACS Nano. 2021 Feb 19.
      Antivirulence therapy by cell membrane coated nanoparticles has shown promise against bacterial infections. However, current approaches remain unsatisfactory when facing Escherichia coli (E. coli) infections, since the E. coli secretes multiple bacterial toxins including endotoxins and exotoxins that are challenging to eliminate simultaneously. What is worse, the absorptive scavengers normally rely on random contact of the diffuse toxins, which is not efficient. For the current cell membrane coated platform, the single type of cell membrane cannot fully meet the detoxing requirement facing multiple toxins. To address these problems, a polymyxin B (PMB)-modified, red blood cell (RBC)-mimetic hybrid liposome (P-RL) was developed. The P-RL was fabricated succinctly through fusion of PMB-modified lipids and the RBC membranes. By the strong interaction between PMB and the E. coli membrane, P-RL could attach and anchor to the E. coli; attributed to the fused RBC membrane and modified PMB, the P-RL could then efficiently neutralize both endotoxins and exotoxins from the toxin fountainhead. In vitro and in vivo results demonstrated the P-RL had a significant anchoring effect to E. coli. Moreover, compared with the existing RBC vesicles or PMB-modified liposomes, P-RL exhibited a superior therapeutic effect against RBC hemolysis, macrophage activation, and a mixed-toxin infection in mice. Potently, P-RL could inhibit E. coli O157:H7-induced skin damage, intestinal infection, and mouse death. Overall, the P-RL could potentially improve the detoxing efficiency and markedly expand the detoxification spectrum of current antivirulence systems, which provides different insights into drug-resistant E. coli treatment.
    Keywords:  anchoring; antivirulence; bacterial infections; biomimetic; hybrid liposome
  3. Adv Mater. 2021 Feb 18. e2007719
      Combination chemotherapy refers to the use of multiple drugs to treat cancer. In this therapy, the optimal ratio of the drugs is essential to achieve drug synergism and the desired therapeutic effects. However, most delivery strategies are unable to precisely control the ratio of the drugs during the drug loading and delivery processes, resulting in inefficient synergy and unpredictable efficacy. Herein, a macrocyclic-amphiphile-based self-assembled nanoparticle (MASN) that achieves precise loading and ratiometric delivery of therapeutic combinations is presented. By integrating multiple macrocyclic cavities within a single nanoparticle, the MASN can load multiple drug molecules via the host-guest interaction, and the ratio of the drugs loaded can be predicted with their initial concentrations and characteristic binding affinity. Moreover, MASNs are readily degraded under a hypoxic microenvironment, allowing spontaneous release of the drugs upon reaching tumor tissues. With precise drug loading and controlled release mechanisms, MASNs achieve ratiometric delivery of multiple commercial drugs to tumors, thereby achieving optimal anti-tumor effects. Since the optimal drug ratio of a therapeutic combination can be quickly determined in vitro, MASNs can translate this optimal ratio to the therapeutic benefits in vivo, providing a potential platform for the rapid development of effective combination cancer therapies involving multiple drugs.
    Keywords:  combination chemotherapy; hypoxia; macrocyclic amphiphiles; molecular recognition; ratiometric delivery
  4. Adv Mater. 2021 Jan 27. e2007209
      Membraneless coacervate compartments in the intracellular and pericellular space mediate critical cellular functions. Developing synthetic coacervates that emulate the morphological, physical, and functional complexity of these natural coacervates is challenging but highly desirable. Herein, a generalizable nanoparticle assembly (NPA) strategy is developed, which is applicable to interactive core-shell nanoparticles with different chemical makeups, to fabricate vacuolated coacervates. The obtained NPA coacervates contain stable internal vacuoles to provide segregated microcompartments, which can mediate the spatially heterogeneous distribution of diverse macromolecules via restricted diffusion. It is further shown that the vacuolated NPA coacervates can harbor and retain macromolecular medium supplements to regulate the functions of cells encapsulated in vacuoles. Furthermore, the restricted macromolecule diffusion can be abolished on demand via the triggered coacervate-hydrogel transition, thereby altering the exposure of encapsulated cells to environmental factors. It is believed that the NPA strategy provides new insights into the design principles of hierarchical coacervates that hold promising potential for a wide array of biomedical applications.
    Keywords:  coacervate organelle mimics; nanoparticle assembly; segregated microcompartments; vacuolation
  5. Nano Lett. 2021 Feb 17.
      Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine is a promising candidate in cancer immunotherapy as it can encode tumor-associated antigens with an excellent safety profile. Unfortunately, the inherent instability of RNA and translational efficiency are major limitations of RNA vaccine. Here, we report an injectable hydrogel formed with graphene oxide (GO) and polyethylenimine (PEI), which can generate mRNA (ovalbumin, a model antigen) and adjuvants (R848)-laden nanovaccines for at least 30 days after subcutaneous injection. The released nanovaccines can protect the mRNA from degradation and confer targeted delivering capacity to lymph nodes. The data show that this transformable hydrogel can significantly increase the number of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells and subsequently inhibit the tumor growth with only one treatment. Meanwhile, this hydrogel can generate an antigen specific antibody in the serum which in turn prevents the occurrence of metastasis. Collectively, these results demonstrate the potential of the PEI-functionalized GO transformable hydrogel for effective cancer immunotherapy.
    Keywords:  RNA vaccine; graphene oxide; immunotherapy; long-term release; polyethylenimine
  6. Nano Lett. 2021 Feb 17.
      Efficient endosomal escape is the most essential but challenging issue for siRNA drug development. Herein, a series of quaternary ammonium-based amphiphilic triblock polymers harnessing an elaborately tailored pH-sensitive hydrophobic core were synthesized and screened. Upon incubating in an endosomal pH environment (pH 6.5-6.8), mPEG45-P(DPA50-co-DMAEMA56)-PT53 (PDDT, the optimized polymer) nanomicelles (PDDT-Ms) and PDDT-Ms/siRNA polyplexes rapidly disassembled, leading to promoted cytosolic release of internalized siRNA and enhanced silencing activity evident from comprehensive analysis of the colocalization and gene silencing using a lysosomotropic agent (chloroquine) and an endosomal trafficking inhibitor (bafilomycin A1). In addition, PDDT-Ms/siPLK1 dramatically repressed tumor growth in both HepG2-xenograft and highly malignant patient-derived xenograft models. PDDT-Ms-armed siPD-L1 efficiently blocked the interaction of PD-L1 and PD-1 and restored immunological surveillance in CT-26-xenograft murine model. PDDT-Ms/siRNA exhibited ideal safety profiles in these assays. This study provides guidelines for rational design and optimization of block polymers for efficient endosomal escape of internalized siRNA and cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  block polymer; cancer immunotherapy; endosomal escape; pH-response; siRNA delivery
  7. Adv Mater. 2021 Feb 16. e2005363
      Intracellular delivery is considered an indispensable process for various studies, ranging from medical applications (cell-based therapy) to fundamental (genome-editing) and industrial (biomanufacture) approaches. Conventional macroscale delivery systems critically suffer from such issues as low cell viability, cytotoxicity, and inconsistent material delivery, which have opened up an interest in the development of more efficient intracellular delivery systems. In line with the advances in microfluidics and nanotechnology, intracellular delivery based on micro- and nanoengineered platforms has progressed rapidly and held great promises owing to their unique features. These approaches have been advanced to introduce a smorgasbord of diverse cargoes into various cell types with the maximum efficiency and the highest precision. This review differentiates macro-, micro-, and nanoengineered approaches for intracellular delivery. The macroengineered delivery platforms are first summarized and then each method is categorized based on whether it employs a carrier- or membrane-disruption-mediated mechanism to load cargoes inside the cells. Second, particular emphasis is placed on the micro- and nanoengineered advances in the delivery of biomolecules inside the cells. Furthermore, the applications and challenges of the established and emerging delivery approaches are summarized. The topic is concluded by evaluating the future perspective of intracellular delivery toward the micro- and nanoengineered approaches.
    Keywords:  cell-based therapy; genome editing; intracellular cargo delivery; micro- and nanotechnology; plasma membrane permeabilization
  8. ACS Nano. 2021 Feb 18.
      T cells play an important role in immunity and repair and are implicated in diseases, including blood cancers, viral infections, and inflammation, making them attractive targets for the treatment and prevention of diseases. Over recent years, the advent of nanomedicine has shown an increase in studies that use nanoparticles as carriers to deliver therapeutic cargo to T cells for ex vivo and in vivo applications. Nanoparticle-based delivery has several advantages, including the ability to load and protect a variety of drugs, control drug release, improve drug pharmacokinetics and biodistribution, and site- or cell-specific targeting. However, the delivery of nanoparticles to T cells remains a major technological challenge, which is primarily due to the nonphagocytic nature of T cells. In this review, we discuss the physiological barriers to effective T cell targeting and describe the different approaches used to deliver cargo-loaded nanoparticles to T cells for the treatment of disease such as T cell lymphoma and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In particular, engineering strategies that aim to improve nanoparticle internalization by T cells, including ligand-based targeting, will be highlighted. These nanoparticle engineering approaches are expected to inspire the development of effective nanomaterials that can target or manipulate the function of T cells for the treatment of T cell-related diseases.
    Keywords:  cancer; endosomal escape; immune evasion; immunotherapy; infection; lymphocyte; nanomedicine; receptor-mediated endocytosis; stealth; tissue-resident
  9. Nano Lett. 2021 Feb 18.
      Liver metastasis (LM) occurs in various cancers, and its early and accurate diagnosis is of great importance. However, the detection of small LMs is still a great challenge because of the subtle differences between normal liver tissue and small metastases. Herein, we prepare glutathione (GSH)-responsive hyaluronic acid-coated iron oxide nanoparticles (HIONPs) for highly sensitive diagnosis of LMs through a facile one-pot method. HIONPs greatly enhance the signal of MRI in tumor metastases as T1 contrast agent (CA), whereas they substantially decrease the signal of liver as T2 CA as they aggregate into clusters upon the high GSH in liver. Consequently, MRI contrasted by HIONPs clearly distinguishes metastatic tumors (bright) from surrounding liver tissues (dark). HIONPs with superior LM contrasting capability and facile synthesis are very promising for clinical translation and indicate a new strategy to develop an ultrasensitive MRI CA for LM diagnosis that exploits high GSH level in the liver.
    Keywords:  Glutathione-responsive; MRI; liver metastases; magnetic nanoparticle
  10. ACS Nano. 2021 Feb 19.
      Lateral flow assays (LFAs) are paper-based point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tools that are widely used because of their low cost, ease of use, and rapid format. Unfortunately, traditional commercial LFAs have significantly poorer sensitivities (μM) and specificities than standard laboratory tests (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, ELISA: pM-fM; polymerase chain reaction, PCR: aM), thus limiting their impact in disease control. In this Perspective, we review the evolving efforts to increase the sensitivity and specificity of LFAs. Recent work to improve the sensitivity through assay improvement includes optimization of the assay kinetics and signal amplification by either reader systems or additional reagents. Together, these efforts have produced LFAs with ELISA-level sensitivities (pM-fM). In addition, sample preamplification can be applied to both nucleic acids (direct amplification) and other analytes (indirect amplification) prior to LFA testing, which can lead to PCR-level (aM) sensitivity. However, these amplification strategies also increase the detection time and assay complexity, which inhibits the large-scale POC use of LFAs. Perspectives to achieve future rapid (<30 min), ultrasensitive (PCR-level), and "sample-to-answer" POC diagnostics are also provided. In the case of LFA specificity, recent research efforts have focused on high-affinity molecules and assay optimization to reduce nonspecific binding. Furthermore, novel highly specific molecules, such as CRISPR/Cas systems, can be integrated into diagnosis with LFAs to produce not only ultrasensitive but also highly specific POC diagnostics. In summary, with continuing improvements, LFAs may soon offer performance at the POC that is competitive with laboratory techniques while retaining a rapid format.
  11. Sci Transl Med. 2021 Feb 17. pii: eabb3652. [Epub ahead of print]13(581):
      A reported 96,480 people were diagnosed with melanoma in the United States in 2019, leading to 7230 reported deaths. Early-stage identification of suspicious pigmented lesions (SPLs) in primary care settings can lead to improved melanoma prognosis and a possible 20-fold reduction in treatment cost. Despite this clinical and economic value, efficient tools for SPL detection are mostly absent. To bridge this gap, we developed an SPL analysis system for wide-field images using deep convolutional neural networks (DCNNs) and applied it to a 38,283 dermatological dataset collected from 133 patients and publicly available images. These images were obtained from a variety of consumer-grade cameras (15,244 nondermoscopy) and classified by three board-certified dermatologists. Our system achieved more than 90.3% sensitivity (95% confidence interval, 90 to 90.6) and 89.9% specificity (89.6 to 90.2%) in distinguishing SPLs from nonsuspicious lesions, skin, and complex backgrounds, avoiding the need for cumbersome individual lesion imaging. We also present a new method to extract intrapatient lesion saliency (ugly duckling criteria) on the basis of DCNN features from detected lesions. This saliency ranking was validated against three board-certified dermatologists using a set of 135 individual wide-field images from 68 dermatological patients not included in the DCNN training set, exhibiting 82.96% (67.88 to 88.26%) agreement with at least one of the top three lesions in the dermatological consensus ranking. This method could allow for rapid and accurate assessments of pigmented lesion suspiciousness within a primary care visit and could enable improved patient triaging, utilization of resources, and earlier treatment of melanoma.
  12. Chempluschem. 2021 Feb;86(2): 284-290
      While the protein assemblies have been found widely existing and playing significant roles in biological systems, their imitation and re-construction is further boosting more applications in biomedical research, such as enzymatic reaction regulation, sensing, and biomedicine. DNA nanotechnology provides a programmable strategy for the fabrication of nanostructures with unprecedented accuracy on the nanoscale. By linking the DNA nanotechnology with proteins of different functions, the precise construction of DNA-guided protein assemblies can be achieved for various biomedical applications. This minireview summarizes the recent advances in the programmable protein assemblies on DNA nanoplatforms and discusses the outlook of DNA-guided protein assemblies in the biomedical research.
    Keywords:  DNA; drug delivery; nanostructures; proteins; therapeutics