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Posted: Jun 18, 2014
Enhanced oxygen delivery to targeted tissues by use of drug loaded paramagnetic nanoparticles
(Nanowerk News) There are many pathological conditions that arise from or are exacerbated by insufficient oxygen delivery to specific tissues. Enhancing oxygen content of these hypoxic tissues is a serious therapeutic challenge often requiring the use of costly hyperbaric oxygen chambers. Low oxygen levels in tumors limits the efficacy of radiotherapies and much current chemotherapy. Thus a strategy to enhance oxygen content of targeted tumors and tissues would be of considerable therapeutic value.
In the case of tumors enhanced oxygen levels would improve the efficacy of radiation treatments. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the University of California at San Diego have developed and evaluated a novel technology based on paramagnetic nanoparticles to target oxygen delivery to a specific tissue through the use of an external magnet.
Coated paramagnetic nanoparticles are loaded with small molecules which, when triggered to be released, enter the red blood cell and cause the hemoglobin to liberate oxygen into the desired local tissues. Thus, tissues or tumors targeted by the placement of an external magnet become selectively more oxygenated - avoiding systemic hyperoxygenation and its negative physiological consequences.
The experimental work took over a year and was completed by Ms. Celine Liong, a bright undergraduate at the Nanoengineering and Bioengineering departments at the University of California at San Diego. She is graduating this June, and will be continuing her graduate studies in Bioengineering at Stanford University.
In the last five years, Profs Joel M Friedman and Pedro Cabrales have developed a strong collaboration on the clinical translation of nanoengineered technologies to the bedside. The above publication describes the magnet based targeting technology developed by Dr. Mahantesh Navati in Professor Friedmanís laboratory.
It also elaborates the work carried out by the team at UCSD headed by Professor Cabrales on the novel in vivo application for enhancing oxygen levels in normal hypoxic tissues. This approach is currently being tested in tumor models to evaluate whether the local enhancement of oxygen in the targeted tumor will improve killing of the tumor by radiation.
Similarly the same approach is being developed and tested for targeted delivery of nitric oxide (at UCSD) and chemotherapeutics (at Einstein). In all instances the major advantage is enhanced drug delivery to the targeted tissues with reduced systemic drug exposure and minimal systemic side effects.