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Glycosaminoglycan-functionalized poly-lactide-co-glycolide nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization, cytocompatibility, and cellular uptake

Authors Lamichhane S, Arya N, Ojha N, Kohler E, Shastri VP

Received 30 August 2014

Accepted for publication 11 October 2014

Published 19 January 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 775—789


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Surya P Lamichhane,1 Neha Arya,1,2 Nirdesh Ojha,3 Esther Kohler,1 V Prasad Shastri1,2,4

1Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, 2Helmholtz Virtual Institute on “Multifunctional Biomaterials for Medicine”, 3Laboratory for Process Technology, Department of Microsystems Engineering, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, 4Centre for Biological Signaling Studies (BIOSS), University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Abstract: The efficient delivery of chemotherapeutics to the tumor via nanoparticle (NP)-based delivery systems remains a significant challenge. This is compounded by the fact that the tumor is highly dynamic and complex environment composed of a plurality of cell types and extracellular matrix. Since glycosaminoglycan (GAG) production is altered in many diseases (or pathologies), NPs bearing GAG moieties on the surface may confer some unique advantages in interrogating the tumor microenvironment. In order to explore this premise, in the study reported here poly-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) NPs in the range of 100–150 nm bearing various proteoglycans were synthesized by a single-step nanoprecipitation and characterized. The surface functionalization of the NPs with GAG moieties was verified using zeta potential measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. To establish these GAG-bearing NPs as carriers of therapeutics, cellular toxicity assays were undertaken in lung epithelial adenocarcinoma (A549) cells, human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC), and renal proximal tubular epithelial cells. In general NPs were well tolerated over a wide concentration range (100–600 µg/mL) by all cell types and were taken up to appreciable extents without any adverse cell response in A549 cells and HPMEC. Further, GAG-functionalized PLGA NPs were taken up to different extents in A459 cells and HPMEC. In both cell systems, the uptake of heparin-modified NPs was diminished by 50%–65% in comparison to that of unmodified PLGA. Interestingly, the uptake of chondroitin sulfate NPs was the highest in both cell systems with 40%–60% higher uptake when compared with that of PLGA, and this represented an almost twofold difference over heparin-modified NPs. These findings suggest that GAG modification can be explored as means of changing the uptake behavior of PLGA NPs and these NP systems have potential in cancer therapy.

Keywords: tumor microenvironment, nanocarriers, proteoglycans, polysaccharides, passive targeting

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