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In-situ formation of holmium oxide in pores of Mesoporous Carbon Nanoparticles as substrates for neutron-activatable radiotherapeutics
- Kim, Junghyun, Luo, Zhi-Xiang, Wu, Yue, Lu, Xiuling, Jay, Michael
- Carbon 2017
- adsorption, biocompatibility, carbon nanoparticles, chemical bonding, dispersibility, energy, holmium, in vitro studies, irradiation, leaching, nanocarriers, neoplasms, neutrons, photons, porous media, toxicity
- Radionuclide therapy with nano-sized carriers is a very promising approach to treat various types of cancer. The preparation of radioactive nanocarriers can be achieved with minimum handling using a neutron-activation approach. However, the nanocarrier material must possess certain characteristics such as low density, heat-resistance, high metal adsorption, easy surface modification and low toxicity in order to be useful. Mesoporous Carbon Nanoparticles (MCNs) in which holmium oxide is formed in their pores by a wet-impregnation process are investigated as a suitable material for this application. Holmium (165Ho) has a natural abundance of 100% and possesses a large cross-section for capturing thermal neutrons. After irradiation of Ho-containing MCNs in a neutron flux, 166Ho, which emits therapeutic high energy beta particles as well as diagnostic low energy gamma photons that can be imaged externally, is produced. The wet impregnation process (16 w/w% Ho loading) is shown to completely prevent the leaching of radioactive holmium from the MCNs without compromising their structural integrity. In vitro studies showed that the MCNs containing non-radioactive holmium do not exhibit toxicity and the same formulation with radioactive holmium (166Ho) demonstrated a tumoricidal effect. Post-irradiation PEGylation of the MCN surfaces endows dispersibility and biocompatibility.