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The response to radiation of polymer gel dosimeters has previously been measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in terms of changes in the water transverse relaxation rate (R ) or magnetization transfer (MT) parameters. Here we report a new MRI approach, based on detecting nuclear Overhauser enhancement (NOE) mediated saturation transfer effects, which can also be used to detect radiation and measure dose distributions in MAGIC-f (Methacrylic and Ascorbic Acid and Gelatin Initiated by Copper Solution with formaldehyde) polymer gels. Results show that the NOE effects produced by low powered radiofrequency (RF) irradiation at specific frequencies offset from water may be quantified by appropriate measurements and over a useful range depend linearly on the radiation dose. The NOE effect likely arises from the polymerization of methacrylic acid monomers which become less mobile, facilitating dipolar through-space cross-relaxation and/or relayed magnetization exchange between polymer and water protons. Our study suggests a potential new MRI method for polymer gel dosimetry.
Introduction - Nanoparticles are increasingly used as drug carriers for oral administration. The delivery of drug molecules is largely dependent on the interaction of nanocarriers and gastrointestinal (GI) mucus, a critical barrier that regulates drug absorption. It is therefore important to understand the effects of physical and chemical properties of nanocarriers on the interaction with GI mucus. Unfortunately, most of the nanoparticles are unable to be prepared with satisfactory structural monodispersity to comprehensively investigate the interaction. With controlled size, shape, and surface chemistry, copolymers are ideal candidates for such purpose.
Materials and methods - We synthesized a series of diblock copolymers via the atom transfer radical polymerization method and investigated the GI mucus permeability in vitro and in vivo.
Results - Our results indicated that uncharged and hydrophobic copolymers exhibited enhanced GI absorption.
Conclusion - These results provide insights into developing optimal nanocarriers for oral administration.
Although siRNA-based nanomedicines hold promise for cancer treatment, conventional siRNA-polymer complex (polyplex) nanocarrier systems have poor pharmacokinetics following intravenous delivery, hindering tumor accumulation. Here, we determined the impact of surface chemistry on the in vivo pharmacokinetics and tumor delivery of siRNA polyplexes. A library of diblock polymers was synthesized, all containing the same pH-responsive, endosomolytic polyplex core-forming block but different corona blocks: 5 kDa (benchmark) and 20 kDa linear polyethylene glycol (PEG), 10 kDa and 20 kDa brush-like poly(oligo ethylene glycol), and 10 kDa and 20 kDa zwitterionic phosphorylcholine-based polymers (PMPC). In vitro, it was found that 20 kDa PEG and 20 kDa PMPC had the highest stability in the presence of salt or heparin and were the most effective at blocking protein adsorption. Following intravenous delivery, 20 kDa PEG and PMPC coronas both extended circulation half-lives 5-fold compared to 5 kDa PEG. However, in mouse orthotopic xenograft tumors, zwitterionic PMPC-based polyplexes showed highest in vivo luciferase silencing (>75% knockdown for 10 days with single IV 1 mg/kg dose) and 3-fold higher average tumor cell uptake than 5 kDa PEG polyplexes (20 kDa PEG polyplexes were only 2-fold higher than 5 kDa PEG). These results show that high molecular weight zwitterionic polyplex coronas significantly enhance siRNA polyplex pharmacokinetics without sacrificing polyplex uptake and bioactivity within tumors when compared to traditional PEG architectures.
Cell therapies suffer from poor survival post-transplant due to placement into hostile implant sites characterized by host immune response and innate production of high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We hypothesized that cellular encapsulation within an injectable, antioxidant hydrogel would improve viability of cells exposed to high oxidative stress. To test this hypothesis, we applied a dual thermo- and ROS-responsive hydrogel comprising the ABC triblock polymer poly[(propylene sulfide)-block-(N,N-dimethyl acrylamide)-block-(N-isopropylacrylamide)] (PPS-b-PDMA-b-PNIPAAM, PDN). The PPS chemistry reacts irreversibly with ROS such as hydrogen peroxide (HO), imparting inherent antioxidant properties to the system. Here, PDN hydrogels were successfully integrated with type 1 collagen to form ROS-protective, composite hydrogels amenable to spreading and growth of adherent cell types such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). It was also shown that, using a control hydrogel substituting nonreactive polycaprolactone in place of PPS, the ROS-reactive PPS chemistry is directly responsible for PDN hydrogel cytoprotection of both MSCs and insulin-producing β-cell pseudo-islets against HO toxicity. In sum, these results establish the potential of cytoprotective, thermogelling PDN biomaterials for injectable delivery of cell therapies.
Structure-based vaccine design has been used to develop immunogens that display conserved neutralization sites on pathogens such as HIV-1, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza. Improving the immunogenicity of these designed immunogens with adjuvants will require formulations that do not alter protein antigenicity. Here, we show that nanoparticle-forming thermoresponsive polymers (TRP) allow for co-delivery of RSV fusion (F) protein trimers with Toll-like receptor 7 and 8 agonists (TLR-7/8a) to enhance protective immunity. Although primary amine conjugation of TLR-7/8a to F trimers severely disrupted the recognition of critical neutralizing epitopes, F trimers site-selectively coupled to TRP nanoparticles retained appropriate antigenicity and elicited high titers of prefusion-specific, T1 isotype anti-RSV F antibodies following vaccination. Moreover, coupling F trimers to TRP delivering TLR-7/8a resulted in ∼3-fold higher binding and neutralizing antibody titers than soluble F trimers admixed with TLR-7/8a and conferred protection from intranasal RSV challenge. Overall, these data show that TRP nanoparticles may provide a broadly applicable platform for eliciting neutralizing antibodies to structure-dependent epitopes on RSV, influenza, HIV-1, or other pathogens.
Self-assembled polymer/porous silicon nanocomposites overcome intracellular and systemic barriers for in vivo application of peptide nucleic acid (PNA) anti-microRNA therapeutics. Porous silicon (PSi) is leveraged as a biodegradable scaffold with high drug-cargo-loading capacity. Functionalization with a diblock polymer improves PSi nanoparticle colloidal stability, in vivo pharmacokinetics, and intracellular bioavailability through endosomal escape, enabling PNA to inhibit miR-122 in vivo.
© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Spatial resolution is a key parameter in imaging mass spectrometry (IMS). Aside from being a primary determinant in overall image quality, spatial resolution has important consequences on the acquisition time of the IMS experiment and the resulting file size. Hardware and software modifications during instrumentation development can dramatically affect the spatial resolution achievable using a given imaging mass spectrometer. As such, an accurate and objective method to determine the working spatial resolution is needed to guide instrument development and ensure quality IMS results. We have used lithographic and self-assembly techniques to fabricate a pattern of crystal violet as a standard reticle slide for assessing spatial resolution in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) IMS experiments. The reticle is used to evaluate spatial resolution under user-defined instrumental conditions. Edgespread analysis measures the beam diameter for a Gaussian profile and line scans measure an "effective" spatial resolution that is a convolution of beam optics and sampling frequency. The patterned crystal violet reticle was also used to diagnose issues with IMS instrumentation such as intermittent losses of pixel data.
Formation of stable, long-circulating siRNA polyplexes is a significant challenge in translation of intravenously-delivered, polymeric RNAi cancer therapies. Here, we report that siRNA hydrophobization through conjugation to palmitic acid (siPA) improves stability, in vivo pharmacokinetics, and tumor gene silencing of PEGylated nanopolyplexes (siPA-NPs) with balanced cationic and hydrophobic content in the core relative to the analogous polyplexes formed with unmodified siRNA, si-NPs. Hydrophobized siPA loaded into the NPs at a lower charge ratio (N(+):P(-)) relative to unmodified siRNA, and siPA-NPs had superior resistance to siRNA cargo unpackaging in comparison to si-NPs upon exposure to the competing polyanion heparin and serum. In vitro, siPA-NPs increased uptake in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells (100% positive cells vs. 60% positive cells) but exhibited equivalent silencing of the model gene luciferase relative to si-NPs. In vivo in a murine model, the circulation half-life of intravenously-injected siPA-NPs was double that of si-NPs, resulting in a >2-fold increase in siRNA biodistribution to orthotopic MDA-MB-231 mammary tumors. The increased circulation half-life of siPA-NPs was dependent upon the hydrophobic interactions of the siRNA and the NP core component and not just siRNA hydrophobization, as siPA did not contribute to improved circulation time relative to unmodified siRNA when delivered using polyplexes with a fully cationic core. Intravenous delivery of siPA-NPs also achieved significant silencing of the model gene luciferase in vivo (∼40% at 24 h after one treatment and ∼60% at 48 h after two treatments) in the murine MDA-MB-231 tumor model, while si-NPs only produced a significant silencing effect after two treatments. These data suggest that stabilization of PEGylated siRNA polyplexes through a combination of hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions between siRNA cargo and the polymeric carrier improves in vivo pharmacokinetics and tumor gene silencing relative to conventional formulations that are stabilized solely by electrostatic interactions.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is expressed in virtually all solid tumors and its overexpression is a hallmark of inflammation. Thus, it is a potentially powerful biomarker for the early clinical detection of inflammatory disease and human cancers. We report a reactive oxygen species (ROS) responsive micellar nanoparticle, PPS-b-POEGA, that solubilizes the first fluorescent COX-2-selective inhibitor fluorocoxib A (FA) for COX-2 visualization in vivo. Pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of FA-PPS-b-POEGA nanoparticles (FA-NPs) were assessed after a fully-aqueous intravenous (i.v.) administration in wild-type mice and revealed 4-8 h post-injection as an optimal fluorescent imaging window. Carrageenan-induced inflammation in the rat and mouse footpads and 1483 HNSCC tumor xenografts were successfully visualized by FA-NPs with fluorescence up to 10-fold higher than that of normal tissues. The targeted binding of the FA cargo was blocked by pretreatment with the COX-2 inhibitor indomethacin, confirming COX-2-specific binding and local retention of FA at pathological sites. Our collective data indicate that FA-NPs are the first i.v.-ready FA formulation, provide high signal-to-noise in inflamed, premalignant, and malignant tissues, and will uniquely enable clinical translation of the poorly water-soluble FA compound.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
With the increasing advancement of synergistic, multimodal approaches to influence the treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases, we witness the development of enabling techniques merging necessary complexity with leaner designs and effectiveness. Systems- and polypharmacology ask for multi-potent drug combinations with many targets to engage with the biological system. These demand drug delivery designs for one single drug, dual drug release systems and multiple release matrices in which the macromolecular structure allows for higher solubilization, protection and sequential or combined release profiles. As a result, nano- and micromaterials have been evolved from mono- to dual drug carriers but are also an essential part to establish multimodality in polymeric matrices. Surface dynamics of particles creating interfaces between polymer chains and hydrogels inspired the development not only of biomedical adhesives but also of injectable hydrogels in which the nanoscale material is both, adhesive and delivery tool. These complex delivery systems are segmented into two delivery subunits, a polymer matrix and nanocarrier, to allow for an even higher tolerance of the incorporated drugs without adding further synthetic demands to the nanocarrier alone. The opportunities in these quite novel approaches for the delivery of small and biological therapeutics are remarkable and selected examples for applications in cancer and bone treatments are discussed.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.