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X-ray radiation-induced and targeted photodynamic therapy with folic acid-conjugated biodegradable nanoconstructs

Authors Clement S, Chen W, Deng W, Goldys EM

Received 8 February 2018

Accepted for publication 17 March 2018

Published 19 June 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 3553—3570

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S164967

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Mohankandhasamy Ramasamy

Peer reviewer comments 3

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


Sandhya Clement,1,2,* Wenjie Chen,1,* Wei Deng,1,2 Ewa M Goldys1,2

1Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 2The Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Introduction: The depth limitation of conventional photodynamic therapy (PDT) with visible electromagnetic radiation represents a challenge for the treatment of deep-seated tumors.
Materials and methods: To overcome this issue, we developed an X-ray-induced PDT system where poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) incorporating a photosensitizer (PS), verteporfin (VP), were triggered by 6 MeV X-ray radiation to generate cytotoxic singlet oxygen. The X-ray radiation used in this study allows this system to breakthrough the PDT depth barrier due to excellent penetration of 6 MeV X-ray radiation through biological tissue. In addition, the conjugation of our NPs with folic acid moieties enables specific targeting of HCT116 cancer cells that overexpress the folate receptors. We carried out physiochemical characterization of PLGA NPs, such as size distribution, zeta potential, morphology and in vitro release of VP. Cellular uptake activity and cell-killing effect of these NPs were also evaluated.
Results and discussion: Our results indicate that our nanoconstructs triggered by 6 MeV X-ray radiation yield enhanced PDT efficacy compared with the radiation alone. We attributed the X-ray-induced singlet oxygen generation from the PS, VP, to photoexcitation by Cherenkov radiation and/or reactive oxygen species generation facilitated by energetic secondary electrons produced in the tissue.
Conclusion: The cytotoxic effect caused by VP offers the possibility of enhancing the radiation therapy commonly prescribed for the treatment of cancer by simultaneous PDT.

Keywords: PLGA nanoparticles, verteporfin, singlet oxygen generation, photodynamic therapy, X-ray PDT, folic acid targeting

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