bims-mricoa Biomed News
on MRI contrast agents
Issue of 2021‒11‒28
twelve papers selected by
Merve Yavuz
Bilkent University

  1. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Nov 10. pii: 3013. [Epub ahead of print]11(11):
      Iron oxide nanoparticle-based hyperthermia is an emerging field in cancer treatment. The hyperthermia is primarily achieved by two differing methods: magnetic fluid hyperthermia and photothermal therapy. In magnetic fluid hyperthermia, the iron oxide nanoparticles are heated by an alternating magnetic field through Brownian and Néel relaxation. In photothermal therapy, the hyperthermia is mainly generated by absorption of light, thereby converting electromagnetic waves into thermal energy. By use of iron oxide nanoparticles, this effect can be enhanced. Both methods are promising tools in cancer treatment and are, therefore, also explored for gastrointestinal malignancies. Here, we provide an extensive literature research on both therapy options for the most common gastrointestinal malignancies (esophageal, gastric and colorectal cancer, colorectal liver metastases, hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocellular carcinoma and pancreatic cancer). As many of these rank in the top ten of cancer-related deaths, novel treatment strategies are urgently needed. This review describes the efforts undertaken in vitro and in vivo.
    Keywords:  cancer; iron oxide nanoparticles; magnetic fluid hyperthermia; photothermal therapy
  2. Pharmaceutics. 2021 Nov 14. pii: 1927. [Epub ahead of print]13(11):
      Nanoparticle-based technologies are rapidly expanding into many areas of biomedicine and molecular science. The unique ability of magnetic nanoparticles to respond to the magnetic field makes them especially attractive for a number of in vivo applications including magnetofection. The magnetofection principle consists of the accumulation and retention of magnetic nanoparticles carrying nucleic acids in the area of magnetic field application. The method is highly promising as a clinically efficient tool for gene delivery in vivo. However, the data on in vivo magnetofection are often only descriptive or poorly studied, insufficiently systematized, and sometimes even contradictory. Therefore, the aim of the review was to systematize and analyze the data that influence the in vivo magnetofection processes after the systemic injection of magnetic nanostructures. The main emphasis is placed on the structure and coating of the nanomagnetic vectors. The present problems and future trends of the method development are also considered.
    Keywords:  gene delivery; gene vectors; iron oxide; magnetic nanoparticles; magnetofection in vivo
  3. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Oct 28. pii: 2888. [Epub ahead of print]11(11):
      Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) are suitable materials for contrast enhancement in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Their potential clinical applications range from diagnosis to therapy and follow-up treatments. However, a deeper understanding of the interaction between IONPs, culture media and cells is necessary for expanding the application of this technology to different types of cancer therapies. To achieve new insights of these interactions, a set of IONPs were prepared with the same inorganic core and five distinct coatings, to study their aggregation and interactions in different physiological media, as well as their cell labelling efficiency. Then, a second set of IONPs, with six different core sizes and the same coating, were used to study how the core size affects cell labelling and MRI in vitro. Here, IONPs suspended in biological media experience a partial removal of the coating and adhesion of molecules. The FBS concentration alters the labelling of all types of IONPs and hydrodynamic sizes ≥ 300 nm provide the greatest labelling using the centrifugation-mediated internalization (CMI). The best contrast for MRI results requires a core size range between 12-14 nm coated with dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) producing R2* values of 393.7 s-1 and 428.3 s-1, respectively. These findings will help to bring IONPs as negative contrast agents into clinical settings.
    Keywords:  cellular uptake; colloidal properties; iron oxide nanoparticles; magnetic resonance imaging
  4. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Oct 21. pii: 2786. [Epub ahead of print]11(11):
      The likelihood of magnetic nanoparticles to agglomerate is usually estimated through the ratio between magnetic dipole-dipole and thermal energies, thus neglecting the fact that, depending on the magnitude of the magnetic anisotropy constant (K), the particle moment may fluctuate internally and thus undermine the agglomeration process. Based on the comparison between the involved timescales, we study in this work how the threshold size for magnetic agglomeration (daggl) varies depending on the K value. Our results suggest that small variations in K-due to, e.g., shape contribution, might shift daggl by a few nm. A comparison with the usual superparamagnetism estimation is provided, as well as with the energy competition approach. In addition, based on the key role of the anisotropy in the hyperthermia performance, we also analyse the associated heating capability, as non-agglomerated particles would be of high interest for the application.
    Keywords:  magnetic agglomeration; magnetic hyperthermia; magnetic nanoparticles
  5. Pharmaceutics. 2021 Oct 25. pii: 1785. [Epub ahead of print]13(11):
      Ferroptosis is a regulated cell death mechanism holding promise for anticancer therapy. Numerous small molecules inducing ferroptosis have been reported thus far. However, these compounds suffer from important drawbacks including poor solubility, systemic toxicity, and scarce tumor targeting ability that have limited their clinical success. The notion that nanoparticles inducing ferroptosis show better preclinical profiles compared to small molecules and overcome resistance to apoptosis has opened a new scenario for cancer treatment. Due to peculiar chemical-physical properties, nanoparticles can be loaded with anticancer drugs or decorated with tumor-selecting molecules. These features allow for drug combination treatment as well as tumor targeting. In the review, we summarize and discuss the available information concerning nanoparticles inducing ferroptosis endowed with different peculiarities and suitable for therapeutic purposes including nanoparticles for (i) antitumor drug delivery, (ii) tumor targeting, (iii) immunomodulation, and (iv) radiofrequency ablation, hyperthermia, and photodynamic therapy.
    Keywords:  cancer; ferroptosis; iron; nanoparticles; tumor targeting
  6. Life (Basel). 2021 Nov 03. pii: 1171. [Epub ahead of print]11(11):
      Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) contribute to regulate many aspects of cell physiology and metabolism. Protein domains involved in PPIs are important building blocks for engineering genetic circuits through synthetic biology. These domains can be obtained from known proteins and rationally engineered to produce orthogonal scaffolds, or computationally designed de novo thanks to recent advances in structural biology and molecular dynamics prediction. Such circuits based on PPIs (or protein circuits) appear of particular interest, as they can directly affect transcriptional outputs, as well as induce behavioral/adaptational changes in cell metabolism, without the need for further protein synthesis. This last example was highlighted in recent works to enable the production of fast-responding circuits which can be exploited for biosensing and diagnostics. Notably, PPIs can also be engineered to develop new drugs able to bind specific intra- and extra-cellular targets. In this review, we summarize recent findings in the field of protein circuit design, with particular focus on the use of peptides as scaffolds to engineer these circuits.
    Keywords:  combinatorial libraries; peptides; protein circuits; protein-protein interactions; synthetic biology
  7. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Nov 15. pii: 12342. [Epub ahead of print]22(22):
      This work investigates the mechanical properties, microstructures, and water-swelling behavior of a novel hydrogel filled with magnetic particles. The nanoparticles of magnetite (Fe3O4) and the micro-particles of carbonyl iron (CI) were selected and filled into a polyacrylamide (PAAM) hydrogel matrix to create two types of magnetic hydrogels. The isotropy and anisotropy of magnetic hydrogels are also presented in this study. The isotropic samples were cured without applying a magnetic field (MF), and the anisotropic samples were cured by applying an MF in the direction perpendicular to the thickness of the samples. The effects of the size, content, and inner structures of magnetic particles on the magneto-responsive and swelling properties of magnetic hydrogels were investigated. It was found that the magnetorheological (MR) effect of anisotropic samples was apparently higher than that of isotropic samples, and the hydrogels with CI exhibited a noticeable MR effect than those with Fe3O4. The storage modulus can be enhanced by increasing the filler content and size, forming an anisotropic structure, and applying an external MF. In addition, the magnetic hydrogels also have a swelling ability that can be tuned by varying the content and size of the particle fillers.
    Keywords:  carbonyl iron; magnetic hydrogels; magnetite; magneto-rheology; water-swelling
  8. Theranostics. 2021 ;11(20): 9937-9952
      As an iron-dependent mode of programmed cell death induced by lipid peroxidation, ferroptosis plays an important role in cancer therapy. The metabolic reprogramming in tumor microenvironment allows the possibility of targeting ferroptosis in cancer treatment. Recent studies reveal that nanomaterials targeting ferroptosis have prospects for the development of new cancer treatments. However, the design ideas of nanomaterials targeting ferroptosis sometimes vary. Therefore, in addition to the need for a systematic summary of these ideas, new ideas and insights are needed to make possible the construction of nanomaterials for effectively targeting this cell death pathway. At the same time, further optimization of nanomaterials design is required to make them appropriate for clinical treatment. In this context, we summarize this cross-cutting research area covering from the known mechanism of ferroptosis to providing feasible ideas for nanomaterials design as well as their clinical application. We aim to provide new insights and enlightenment for the next step in developing new nanomaterials for cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  Cancer therapy; Clinical strategy; Ferroptosis; Nanomaterials; Tumor microenvironment
  9. ACS Synth Biol. 2021 Nov 22.
      Microbes are champions of nanomaterial synthesis. By virtue of their incredible native range─from thermal vents to radioactive soil─microbes evolved tools to thrive on inorganic material, and, in their normal course of living, forge nanomaterials. In recent decades, synthetic biologists have engineered a vast array of functional nanomaterials using genetic tools that control the natural ability of bacteria to perform complex redox chemistry, maintain steep chemical gradients, and express biomolecular scaffolds. Leveraging microbial biology can lead to intricate nanomaterial architectures whose design and assembly exists beyond the ken of inorganic methods. Theories enumerating microbial nanomaterial synthesis are spare, however, despite the advantage they could offer. Here, we describe a theoretical approach to simulating biogenic nanomaterial synthesis that incorporates key features and parameters of Gram-negative bacteria. By adapting previously verified inorganic theories of nanoparticle synthesis, we recapitulate past biogenic experiments, such as the ability to localize nanoparticle synthesis or regulate nucleation of specific nanomaterials. Moreover, the simulation offers direction in the design of future experiments. Our results demonstrate the promise of marrying experimental and theoretical approaches to microbial nanomaterial synthesis.
    Keywords:  bacteria; kinetics; nanoparticles; simulations; synthesis
  10. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Oct 29. pii: 2902. [Epub ahead of print]11(11):
      In recent years, the application of magnetic nanoparticles as alternative catalysts to conventional Fenton processes has been investigated for the removal of emerging pollutants in wastewater. While this type of catalyst reduces the release of iron hydroxides with the treated effluent, it also presents certain disadvantages, such as slower reaction kinetics associated with the availability of iron and mass transfer limitations. To overcome these drawbacks, the functionalization of the nanocatalyst surface through the addition of coatings such as polyacrylic acid (PAA) and their immobilization on a mesoporous silica matrix (SBA15) can be factors that improve the dispersion and stability of the nanoparticles. Under these premises, the performance of the nanoparticle coating and nanoparticle-mesoporous matrix binomials in the degradation of dyes as examples of recalcitrant compounds were evaluated. Based on the outcomes of dye degradation by the different functionalized nanocatalysts and nanocomposites, the nanoparticles embedded in a mesoporous matrix were applied for the removal of estrogens (E1, E2, EE2), accomplishing high removal percentages (above 90%) after the optimization of the operational variables. With the feasibility of their recovery in mind, the nanostructured materials represented a significant advantage as their magnetic character allows their separation for reuse in different successive sequential batch cycles.
    Keywords:  Fenton; SBA-15; estrogen; kinetic; magnetic catalyst; nanoparticle; reuse
  11. Biomedicines. 2021 Oct 24. pii: 1528. [Epub ahead of print]9(11):
      One of the challenges of modern biology and medicine is to visualize biomolecules in their natural environment, in real-time and in a non-invasive fashion, so as to gain insight into their physiological behavior and highlight alterations in pathological settings, which will enable to devise appropriate therapeutic strategies. Genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors constitute a class of imaging agents that enable visualization of biological processes and events directly in situ, preserving the native biological context and providing detailed insight into their localization and dynamics in cells. Real-time monitoring of drug action in a specific cellular compartment, organ, or tissue type; the ability to screen at the single-cell resolution; and the elimination of false-positive results caused by low drug bioavailability that is not detected by in vitro testing methods are a few of the obvious benefits of using genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors in drug screening. This review summarizes results of the studies that have been conducted in the last years toward the fabrication of genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors for biomedical applications with a comprehensive discussion on the challenges, future trends, and potential inputs needed for improving them.
    Keywords:  drug screening; fluorescent protein; genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors
  12. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Nov 04. pii: 2955. [Epub ahead of print]11(11):
      Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a genetic material, encodes all living information and living characteristics, e.g., in cell, DNA signaling circuits control the transcription activities of specific genes. In recent years, various DNA circuits have been developed to implement a wide range of signaling and for regulating gene network functions. In particular, a synthetic DNA circuit, with a programmable design and easy construction, has become a crucial method through which to simulate and regulate DNA signaling networks. Importantly, the construction of a hierarchical DNA circuit provides a useful tool for regulating gene networks and for processing molecular information. Moreover, via their robust and modular properties, DNA circuits can amplify weak signals and establish programmable cascade systems, which are particularly suitable for the applications of biosensing and detecting. Furthermore, a biological enzyme can also be used to provide diverse circuit regulation elements. Currently, studies regarding the mechanisms and applications of synthetic DNA circuit are important for the establishment of more advanced artificial gene regulation systems and intelligent molecular sensing tools. We therefore summarize recent relevant research progress, contributing to the development of nanotechnology-based synthetic DNA circuits. By summarizing the current highlights and the development of synthetic DNA circuits, this paper provides additional insights for future DNA circuit development and provides a foundation for the construction of more advanced DNA circuits.
    Keywords:  DNA computing; DNA networks; DNA self-assembly; DNA strand displacement; synthetic DNA circuit