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Posted: September 18, 2006
Nanoparticles boost delivery of Ccisplatin to tumor cells
(Nanowerk News) Cisplatin is one of the most powerful and effective drugs for treating a wide variety of cancers, but many tumors develop resistance to this drug, ultimately limiting its benefits for cancer patients. Now, however, researchers have developed a nanoparticulate formulation of cisplatin that shows promise for overcoming drug resistance while boosting the amount of drug that accumulates inside malignant cells.
The investigators identified several key physical characteristics, all easily measured using AFM, that enabled them to accurately measure cisplatin encapsulation in the liposomes. Past efforts by many research groups to encapsulate cisplatin within a liposome were judged unsuccessful, in part because of the difficulty in tracking the efficiency of drug encapsulation. In this case, the researchers found that the stiffness of any given liposome, measured using AFM force mapping, correlated with the amount of cisplatin encapsulated within that liposome.
By adding a fluorescent label to the liposomes, the investigators were able to monitor uptake by ovarian cancer cells growing in culture and to track their cell-killing properties. These studies showed that the cisplatin-loaded liposomes crossed the cell membrane in large numbers. More importantly, massive cell death occurred as a result, particularly when the cells were treated with smaller cisplatin-loaded liposomes, i.e., those with diameters less than 250 nanometers.