99 research outputs found

    New chitosan nanobubbles for ultrasound-mediated gene delivery: preparation and in vitro characterization

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    BACKGROUND: The development of nonviral gene delivery systems is one of the most intriguing topics in nanomedicine. However, despite the advances made in recent years, several key issues remain unsettled. One of the main problems relates to the difficulty in designing nanodevices for targeted delivery of genes and other drugs to specific anatomic sites. In this study, we describe the development of a novel chitosan nanobubble-based gene delivery system for ultrasound-triggered release. METHODS AND RESULTS: Chitosan was selected for the nanobubble shell because of its low toxicity, low immunogenicity, and excellent biocompatibility, while the core consisted of perfluoropentane. DNA-loaded chitosan nanobubbles were formed with a mean diameter of less than 300 nm and a positive surface charge. Transmission electron microscopic analysis confirmed composition of the core-shell structure. The ability of the chitosan nanobubbles to complex with and protect DNA was confirmed by agarose gel assay. Chitosan nanobubbles were found to be stable following insonation (2.5 MHz) for up to 3 minutes at 37°C. DNA release was evaluated in vitro in both the presence and absence of ultrasound. The release of chitosan nanobubble-bound plasmid DNA occurred after just one minute of insonation. In vitro transfection experiments were performed by exposing adherent COS7 cells to ultrasound in the presence of different concentrations of plasmid DNA-loaded nanobubbles. In the absence of ultrasound, nanobubbles failed to trigger transfection at all concentrations tested. In contrast, 30 seconds of ultrasound promoted a moderate degree of transfection. Cell viability experiments demonstrated that neither ultrasound nor the nanobubbles affected cell viability under these experimental conditions. CONCLUSION: Based on these results, chitosan nanobubbles have the potential to be promising tools for ultrasound-mediated DNA delivery

    Exploring chitosan-shelled nanobubbles to improve HER2 + immunotherapy via dendritic cell targeting

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    Immunotherapy is a valuable approach to cancer treatment as it is able to activate the immune system. However, the curative methods currently in clinical practice, including immune checkpoint inhibitors, present some limitations. Dendritic cell vaccination has been investigated as an immunotherapeutic strategy, and nanotechnology-based delivery systems have emerged as powerful tools for improving immunotherapy and vaccine development. A number of nanodelivery systems have therefore been proposed to promote cancer immunotherapy. This work aims to design a novel immunotherapy nanoplatform for the treatment of HER2 + breast cancer, and specially tailored chitosan-shelled nanobubbles (NBs) have been developed for the delivery of a DNA vaccine. The NBs have been functionalized with anti-CD1a antibodies to target dendritic cells (DCs). The NB formulations possess dimensions of approximately 300 nm and positive surface charge, and also show good physical stability up to 6 months under storage at 4 °C. In vitro characterization has confirmed that these NBs are capable of loading DNA with good encapsulation efficiency (82%). The antiCD1a-functionalized NBs are designed to target DCs, and demonstrated the ability to induce DC activation in both human and mouse cell models, and also elicited a specific immune response that was capable of slowing tumor growth in mice in vivo. These findings are the proof of concept that loading a tumor vaccine into DC-targeted chitosan nanobubbles may become an attractive nanotechnology approach for the future immunotherapeutic treatment of cancer. GRAPHICAL ABSTRACT: [Image: see text

    Cyclodextrin-Based Nanohydrogels Containing Polyamidoamine Units: A New Dexamethasone Delivery System for Inflammatory Diseases

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    Glucocorticoids are widely prescribed in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, systemic lupus erythematosus, lymphoid neoplasia, skin and eye inflammations. However, well-documented adverse effects offset their therapeutic advantages. In this work, novel nano-hydrogels for the sustained delivery of dexamethasone were designed to increase both bioavailability and duration of the administered drug and reducing the therapeutic dose. Hydrogels are soft materials consisting of water-swollen cross-linked polymers to which the insertion of cyclodextrin (CD) moieties adds hydrophobic drug-complexing sites. Polyamidoamines (PAAs) are biocompatible and biodegradable polymers apt to create CD moieties in hydrogels. In this work, β or γ-CD/PAA nanogels have been developed. In vitro studies showed that a pretreatment for 24–48 h with dexamethasone-loaded, β-CD/PAA nanogel (nanodexa) inhibits adhesion of Jurkat cells to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in conditions mimicking inflammation. This inhibitory effect was faster and higher than that displayed by free dexamethasone. Moreover, nanodexa inhibited COX-2 expression induced by PMA+A23187 in Jurkat cells after 24–48 h incubation in the 10−8–10−5 M concentration range, while dexamethasone was effective only at 10−5 M after 48 h treatment. Hence, the novel nanogel-dexamethasone formulation combines faster action with lower doses, suggesting the potential for being more manageable than the free drug, reducing its adverse side effects
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