Nanoparticle Platform Technologies to Circumvent Therapeutics Resistance in Diseases

P.D. Nallathamby, M. Waters, J. Hopf, P. Helquist
University of Notre Dame,
United States

Keywords: label-free targeting, magnetoelectric nanoparticles, chemoresistant, multi-drug resistant


There is a need to improve current cancer treatment regimens to reduce systemic toxicity, to positively impact the quality-of-life post-treatment. We hypothesized the negation of off-target toxicity of anthracyclines (e.g., Doxorubicin) by delivering Doxorubicin on magneto-electric silica nanoparticles (Dox-MagSiNs) to cancer cells. Dox-MagSiNs were completely biocompatible with all cell types and are therapeutically inert till the release of Doxorubicin from the MagSiNs at the cancer cells location. The MagSiNs themselves are comprised of biocompatible components with a magnetostrictive cobalt ferrite core (4–6 nm) surrounded by a piezoelectric fused silica shell of 1.5 nm to 2 nm thickness. The MagSiNs possess T2-MRI contrast properties on par with RESOVIST™ due to their cobalt ferrite core. Additionally, the silica shell surrounding the core was volume loaded with green or red fluorophores to fluorescently track the MagSiNs in vitro. This makes the MagSiNs a suitable candidate for trackable, drug nanocarriers. We used metastatic triple-negative breast cancer cells (MDAMB231), ovarian cancer cells (A2780), and prostate cancer cells (PC3) as our model cancer cell lines. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were used as control cell lines to represent blood-vessel cells that suffer from the systemic toxicity of Doxorubicin. In the presence of an external magnetic field that is 300× times lower than an MRI field, we successfully nanoporated the cancer cells, then triggered the release of 500 nM of doxorubicin from Dox-MagSiNs to successfully kill >50% PC3, >50% A2780 cells, and killed 125% more MDAMB231 cells than free Dox.HCl. In control HUVECs, the Dox-MagSiNs did not nanoporate into the HUVECS and did not exhibited any cytotoxicity at all when there was no triggered release of Dox.HCl. Currently, the major advantages of our approach are, (i) the MagSiNs are biocompatible in vitro and in vivo; (ii) the label-free nanoporation of Dox-MagSiNs into cancer cells and not the model blood vessel cell line; (iii) the complete cancellation of the cytotoxicity of Doxorubicin in the Dox-MagSiNs form; (iv) the clinical impact of such a nanocarrier will be that it will be possible to increase the current upper limit for cumulative-dosages of anthracyclines through multiple dosing, which in turn will improve the anti-cancer efficacy of anthracyclines. Similarly, we have also utilized the structure-dependent function of nanomaterials to create phage-mimicking nanoparticles to combat multi-drug resistant bacterial infections.