JOURNAL ARTICLE

Thermoresponsive core-shell magnetic nanoparticles for combined modalities of cancer therapy

S Purushotham, P E J Chang, H Rumpel, I H C Kee, R T H Ng, P K H Chow, C K Tan, R V Ramanujan
Nanotechnology 2009 July 29, 20 (30): 305101
19581698
Thermoresponsive polymer-coated magnetic nanoparticles loaded with anti-cancer drugs are of considerable interest for novel multi-modal cancer therapies. Such nanoparticles can be used for magnetic drug targeting followed by simultaneous hyperthermia and drug release. Gamma-Fe(2)O(3) iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) with average sizes of 14, 19 and 43 nm were synthesized by high temperature decomposition. Composite magnetic nanoparticles (CNP) of 43 nm MNP coated with the thermoresponsive polymer poly-n-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAM) were prepared by dispersion polymerization of n-isopropylacrylamide monomer in the presence of the MNP. In vitro drug release of doxorubicin-(dox) loaded dehydrated CNP at temperatures below and above the lower critical solution temperature of PNIPAM (34 degrees C) revealed a weak dependence of drug release on swelling behavior. The particles displayed Fickian diffusion release kinetics; the maximum dox release at 42 degrees C after 101 h was 41%. In vitro simultaneous hyperthermia and drug release of therapeutically relevant quantities of dox was achieved, 14.7% of loaded dox was released in 47 min at hyperthermia temperatures. In vivo magnetic targeting of dox-loaded CNP to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in a buffalo rat model was studied by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histology. In summary, the good in vitro and in vivo performance of the doxorubicin-loaded thermoresponsive polymer-coated magnetic nanoparticles suggests considerable promise for applications in multi-modal treatment of cancer.

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