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Tumor-microenvironment controlled nanomicelles with AIE property for boosting cancer therapy and apoptosis monitoring

Qian, Yixia, Wang, Yuehua, Jia, Fei, Wang, Zihua, Yue, Chunyan, Zhang, Weikai, Hu, Zhiyuan, Wang, Weizhi
Biomaterials 2019 v.188 pp. 96-106
acidity, animal tissues, apoptosis, biomarkers, blood circulation, blood vessels, drug delivery systems, drugs, fluorescence, genes, image analysis, micelles, moieties, monitoring, nanoparticles, neoplasms, pH, precision medicine, sequence analysis
Mild acidity matrix, rich blood vessels and special biomarkers constitute the primary tumor microenvironment. Nanoparticles could change their physicochemical characteristics by functionalizing a series of moieties which is responsive towards pH or specific markers. So precise regulation of nanocarrier-based drug delivery systems by the tumor microenvironment has showed great potential for theranostics. Herein, we developed a smart nano delivery system STD-NM, showing tumor microenvironment responsive targeting, efficient drug delivery and precise evaluation of therapeutic effect in vivo. STD-NM kept in ‘stealth’ state in normal environment while ‘activated’ in the tumor acidic environment, which could show stability in blood circulation while deeply penetrate into tumor tissues. Additionally, STD-NM was designed with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristic, of which the fluorescence ‘switch on’ when apoptosis taken place. Gene analysis by RNA-seq also confirmed a superior therapeutic effect of drug loaded STD-NM treatment. We envisioned the well-designed smart nano materials for drug delivery could open a new avenue in precisely tumor imaging and specific cancer therapeutics.