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Peptide mediated in vivo tumor targeting of nanoparticles through optimization in single and multilayer in vitro cell models

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2021, 16:16 by Celina Yang, Kyle Bromma, Devika B. Chithrani
Optimizing the interface between nanoparticles (NPs) and the biological environment at various levels should be considered for improving delivery of NPs to the target tumor area. For NPs to be successfully delivered to cancer cells, NPs needs to be functionalized for circulation through the blood vessels. In this study, accumulation of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) was first tested using in vitro monolayer cells and multilayer cell models prior to in vivo models. A diameter of 10 nm sized GNP was selected for this study for sufficient penetration through tumor tissue. The surfaces of the GNPs were modified with PEG molecules, to improve circulation time by reducing non-specific uptake by the reticuloendothelial system (RES) in animal models, and with a peptide containing integrin binding domain, RGD (arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid), to improve internalization at the cellular level. A 10–12% accumulation of the injected GNP dose within the tumor was observed in vivo and the GNPs remained within the tumor tissue up to 72 h. This study suggests an in vitro platform for optimizing the accumulation of NP complexes in cells and tissue structures before testing them in animal models. Higher accumulation within the tumor in vivo upon surface modification is a promising outcome for future applications where GNPs can be used for drug delivery and radiation therapy.