Nanoparticles Drug Delivery Systems Reveal Hit Intended Cancer Targets

As the targeted drug delivery systems hold significant promise for treating cancer effectively by sparing healthy surrounding tissues. But the promising approach can only work if the drug hits its target. The study developing a new way to determine whether or not; the single drug-delivery nanoparticles will successfully hit their intending targets by simply analyzing each of the nanoparticle distinct movements in real time.

The dynamics of targeting and nontargeting constructs can provide information on nanoparticle (NP) cell interactions. But by studying drug-loaded gold nanostars on cancer cell membranes; the researchers found that nanostars designed to target cancer biomarkers transited over larger areas and rotated much faster than their non-targeting counterparts.

Even when surrounded by non-specifically adhered proteins; the targeting nanostars maintained their distinct; signature movements; suggesting that their targeting ability remains uninhibited. Moving forward, this information can be used to compare how different nanoparticle characteristics such as particle size, shape and surface chemistry can improve the design of nanoparticles as targeting, drug-delivery agents.

Nanoparticles drug delivery systems

The medical field has long been searching for alternatives to current cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, which harm healthy tissues in addition to diseased cells. Although these are effective ways to treat cancer; they carry risks of painful or even dangerous side effects. By delivering drugs directly into the diseased area instead of blasting the whole body with treatment targeted delivery systems result in fewer side effects than current treatment methods.

The selective delivery of therapeutic agents to cancer tumors is a major goal in medicine to avoid side effects. Gold nanoparticles have emerged as promising drug-delivery vehicles that can be synthesized with designer characteristics for targeting cancer cells. Various proteins, however, tend to bind to nanoparticles when they enter the body.

Different nanoconstruct properties

Researchers have worried that these proteins might impede the particles targeting abilities. Odom and her team’s new imaging platform can now screen engineered nanoparticles to determine if their targeting function is retained in the presence of the adhered proteins. The high sensitivity of single-NP dynamics can be using to compare different nanoconstruct properties; to improve their design as delivery vehicles.

However, the study finding that AuNS with targeting ligands had a larger dynamical footprint; and faster rotational speed on cell membranes; expressing human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 receptors compared to that of AuNS with nontargeting ligands. Targeting and nontargeting nanoconstructs displayed distinct membrane dynamics despite their similar protein adsorption profiles; which suggesting that targeting interactions are preserving even in the presence of a protein corona.