bims-mricoa Biomed News
on MRI contrast agents
Issue of 2022‒06‒19
seven papers selected by
Merve Yavuz
Bilkent University

  1. J Nanobiotechnology. 2022 Jun 16. 20(1): 284
      Glioblastoma (GBM) as the most common primary malignant brain tumor exhibits a high incidence and degree of malignancy as well as poor prognosis. Due to the existence of formidable blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the aggressive growth and infiltrating nature of GBM, timely diagnosis and treatment of GBM is still very challenging. Among different imaging modalities, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with merits including high soft tissue resolution, non-invasiveness and non-limited penetration depth has become the preferred tool for GBM diagnosis. Furthermore, multimodal imaging with combination of MRI and other imaging modalities would not only synergistically integrate the pros, but also overcome the certain limitation in each imaging modality, offering more accurate morphological and pathophysiological information of brain tumors. Since contrast agents contribute to amplify imaging signal output for unambiguous pin-pointing of tumors, tremendous efforts have been devoted to advances of contrast agents for MRI and multimodal imaging. Herein, we put special focus on summary of the most recent advances of not only MRI contrast agents including iron oxide-, manganese (Mn)-, gadolinium (Gd)-, 19F- and copper (Cu)-incorporated nanoplatforms for GBM imaging, but also dual-modal or triple-modal nanoprobes. Furthermore, potential obstacles and perspectives for future research and clinical translation of these contrast agents are discussed. We hope this review provides insights for scientists and students with interest in this area.
    Keywords:  Contrast agents; Glioblastoma; MRI; blood–brain barrier
  2. J Genet Genomics. 2022 Jun 10. pii: S1673-8527(22)00160-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ferroptosis has emerged as a crucial regulated cell death involved in a variety of physiological processes or pathological diseases, such as tumor suppression. Though initially being found from anti-cancer drug screening and considered not essential as apoptosis for growth and development, numerous studies have demonstrated that ferroptosis is tightly regulated by key genetic pathways and/or genes, including several tumor suppressors and oncogenes. In this review, we will first introduce the basic concepts of ferroptosis, characterized by the features of non-apoptotic, iron-dependent and overwhelmed accumulation of lipid peroxides, and the underlying regulated circuits are considered to be pro-ferroptotic pathways. Then we discuss several established lipid peroxidation defending systems within cells, including SLC7A11/GPX4, FSP1/CoQ, GCH1/BH4, and mitochondria DHODH/CoQ, all of which serve as anti-ferroptoic pathways to prevent ferroptosis. Moreover, we provide a comprehensive summary of the genetic regulation of ferroptosis via targeting the above-mentioned pro-ferroptotic or anti-ferroptotic pathways. The regulation of pro- and anti-ferroptotic pathways gives rise to more specific responses to the tumor cells in a context-dependent manner, highlighting the unceasing study and deeper understanding of mechanistic regulation of ferroptosis for the purpose of applying ferroptosis induction in cancer therapy.
    Keywords:  Ferroptosis; cancer therapy; ferroptotic pathways; genetic regulation; tumor suppression
  3. Heliyon. 2022 Jun;8(6): e09654
      Dual-functional iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs), displaying self-heating and antibacterial effects are highly desired for biomedical application. This study involved the synthesis of functionalized IONPs coated with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane and polyethylene glycol via ultrasonic-assisted co-precipitation technique. The synthesized IONPs were then characterized by using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, dynamic light scattering, scanning electron microscopy, zeta potential, vibrating sample magnetometer and thermogravimetric analysis techniques. In addition, the effect of the synthesized IONPs on bacterial growth (S. aureus and E. coli) was studied. The influence of magnetic field power, as well as the viscous carriers on the heating efficiency of the synthesized IONPs was investigated. The specific absorption rate values increased as the power increased and decreased with the increase in the carrier viscosity. These characteristics render the synthesized iron oxide nanoparticles synthesized in the present study suitable for biomedical application as hyperthermic agents.
    Keywords:  Biomedical applications; Functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles; Hyperthermia; Specific absorption rate
  4. Nano Res. 2022 Jun 04. 1-19
      Proteins have been widely used in the biomedical field because of their well-defined architecture, accurate molecular weight, excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability, and easy-to-functionalization. Inspired by the wisdom of nature, increasing proteins/peptides that possess self-assembling capabilities have been explored and designed to generate nanoassemblies with unique structure and function, including spatially organized conformation, passive and active targeting, stimuli-responsiveness, and high stability. These characteristics make protein/peptide-based nanoassembly an ideal platform for drug delivery and vaccine development. In this review, we focus on recent advances in subsistent protein/peptide-based nanoassemblies, including protein nanocages, virus-like particles, self-assemblable natural proteins, and self-assemblable artificial peptides. The origin and characteristics of various protein/peptide-based assemblies and their applications in drug delivery and vaccine development are summarized. In the end, the prospects and challenges are discussed for the further development of protein/peptide-based nanoassemblies.
    Keywords:  controlled release; drug delivery; protein/peptide; self-assembly; targeting; vaccine
  5. J Nanobiotechnology. 2022 Jun 14. 20(1): 274
      The tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a key role in cancer development and emergence of drug resistance. TME modulation has recently garnered attention as a potential approach for reprogramming the TME and resensitizing resistant neoplastic niches to existing cancer therapies such as immunotherapy or chemotherapy. Nano-based solutions have important advantages over traditional platform and can be specifically targeted and delivered to desired sites. This review explores novel nano-based approaches aimed at targeting and reprogramming aberrant TME components such as macrophages, fibroblasts, tumor vasculature, hypoxia and ROS pathways. We also discuss how nanoplatforms can be combined with existing anti-tumor regimens such as radiotherapy, immunotherapy, phototherapy or chemotherapy to enhance clinical outcomes in solid tumors.
    Keywords:  Chemotherapy; Drug delivery; Immunotherapy; Nanoparticles; Photodynamic therapy; Tumor microenvironment
  6. Front Microbiol. 2022 ;13 911114
      The flagellar motor is a bidirectional rotary nanomachine used by many bacteria to sense and move through environments of varying complexity. The bidirectional rotation of the motor is governed by interactions between the inner membrane-associated stator units and the C-ring in the cytoplasm. In this review, we take a structural biology perspective to discuss the distinct conformations of the stator complex and the C-ring that regulate bacterial motility by switching rotational direction between the clockwise (CW) and counterclockwise (CCW) senses. We further contextualize recent in situ structural insights into the modulation of the stator units by accessory proteins, such as FliL, to generate full torque. The dynamic structural remodeling of the C-ring and stator complexes as well as their association with signaling and accessory molecules provide a mechanistic basis for how bacteria adjust motility to sense, move through, and survive in specific niches both outside and within host cells and tissues.
    Keywords:  electron tomography; molecular machine; rotary motor; rotational switching; torque generation
  7. Biomaterials. 2022 Jun 05. pii: S0142-9612(22)00259-9. [Epub ahead of print]287 121619
      Subcutaneous administration of sustained-release formulations is a common strategy for protein drugs, which avoids first pass effect and has high bioavailability. However, conventional sustained-release strategies can only load a limited amount of drug, leading to insufficient durability. Herein, we developed microcapsules based on engineered bacteria for sustained release of protein drugs. Engineered bacteria were carried in microcapsules for subcutaneous administration, with a production-lysis circuit for sustained protein production and release. Administrated in diabetic rats, engineered bacteria microcapsules was observed to smoothly release Exendin-4 for 2 weeks and reduce blood glucose. In another example, by releasing subunit vaccines with bacterial microcomponents as vehicles, engineered bacterial microcapsules activated specific immunity in mice and achieved tumor prevention. The engineered bacteria microcapsules have potential to durably release protein drugs and show versatility on the size of drugs. It might be a promising design strategy for long-acting in situ drug factory.
    Keywords:  Bacterial microcomponents; Hydrogel microcapsules; Optogenetics; Sustained release; Synthetic biology