Article

Microfluidic Platform for Combinatorial Synthesis and Optimization of Targeted Nanoparticles for Cancer Therapy

Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.
ACS Nano (Impact Factor: 12.03). 11/2013; 7(12). DOI: 10.1021/nn403370e
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Taking a nanoparticle (NP) from discovery to clinical translation has been slow compared to small molecules, in part by the lack of systems that enable their precise engineering and rapid optimization. In this work we have developed a microfluidic platform for the rapid, combinatorial synthesis and optimization of NPs. The system takes in a number of NP precursors from which a library of NPs with varying size, surface charge, target ligand density, and drug load is produced in a reproducible manner. We rapidly synthesized 45 different formulations of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-b-poly(ethylene glycol) NPs of different size and surface composition and screened and ranked the NPs for their ability to evade macrophage uptake in vitro. Comparison of the results to pharmacokinetic studies in vivo in mice revealed a correlation between in vitro screen and in vivo behavior. Next, we selected NP synthesis parameters that resulted in longer blood half-life and used the microfluidic platform to synthesize targeted NPs with varying targeting ligand density (using a model targeting ligand against cancer cells). We screened NPs in vitro against prostate cancer cells as well as macrophages, identifying one formulation that exhibited high uptake by cancer cells yet similar macrophage uptake compared to nontargeted NPs. In vivo, the selected targeted NPs showed a 3.5-fold increase in tumor accumulation in mice compared to nontargeted NPs. The developed microfluidic platform in this work represents a tool that could potentially accelerate the discovery and clinical translation of NPs.

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