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Folate receptor-targeted liposomal nanocomplex for effective synergistic photothermal-chemotherapy of breast cancer in vivo

Nguyen, Van Du, Min, Hyun-Ki, Kim, Chang-Sei, Han, Jiwon, Park, Jong-Oh, Choi, Eunpyo
Colloids and surfaces 2019 v.173 pp. 539-548
breast neoplasms, cell proliferation, colloids, doxorubicin, drug delivery systems, drug therapy, folic acid, gold, in vivo studies, inhibitory concentration 50, irradiation, mice, nanogold, nanorods, near-infrared spectroscopy, neoplasm cells, pH, photothermotherapy, remission, toxicity
An effective nanoparticle-based drug delivery platform holds great promise for non-invasive cancer therapy. This study explores the breast tumor regression in vivo by synergistic photothermal-chemotherapy based on liposomal nanocomplex (folic acid-gold nanorods-anticancer drug-liposome). The proposed liposomal nanocomplex can enhance the tumor targeting by functionalizing folic acid (FA) molecules on the surface of liposome that encapsulates both gold nanorods (AuNRs) and the doxorubicin (DOX) to combine the photothermal therapy and the chemotherapy, respectively. Herein, 7-nm gold nanorods were fabricated and co-encapsulated with DOX into nanoliposomes functionalized with FA, with an average diameter of 154 nm, for active targeting to the cancer cells. The experimental results showed that the FA targeting liposomes had better cellular uptake than the non-targeting liposomes (AuNRs-DOX-LPs). Especially, upon 5 min exposure to near infrared (NIR) irradiation (808 nm) triggered DOX release could be achieved to 46.38% in 60 min at pH 5.5. In addition, in vitro cell proliferation assays indicated that, with synergistic photothermal-chemotherapy, the targeting liposomes could significantly enhance the toxicity towards the cancer cells with the IC50 value of 1.90 ± 0.12 μg mL−1. Furthermore, in vivo experiments on the breast tumor-bearing mice showed that the targeting liposomes could effectively inhibit the growth of the tumors using the combined strategy.