[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inﬂammation is associated with many diseases, in which the activated inflammatory cells produce various reactive oxygen species (ROS) including H2O2. This work proposes an ultra-sensitive ROS-responsive hollow microsphere (HM) carrier that contains an anti-inflammatory drug, an acid-precursor of ethanol and FeCl2, and a bubble-generating agent (sodium bicarbonate, SBC). In cases of inflamed osteoarthritis, the H2O2 at low concentration diffuses through the HMs to oxidize their encapsu-lated ethanol in the presence of Fe2+, by the Fenton reaction, to establish an acidic milieu. In acid, SBC decomposes to form CO2 bubbles, disrupting the shell wall of the HMs and releasing the anti-inflammatory drug to the problematic site, eventually protecting against joint destruction. These results reveal that the proposed HMs may uniquely exploit the biologically relevant concentrations of H2O2 and thus be used for the site-specific delivery of therapeutics in inflamed tissues.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 09/2015; 137(39). DOI:10.1021/jacs.5b08057 · 12.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the induction of neovascularization by cell-based approaches has demonstrated substantial potential in treating myocardial infarction (MI), the process of cell-mediated angiogenesis and its correlation with therapeutic mechanisms of cardiac repair remain elusive. In this work, three-dimensional (3D) aggregates of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and cord-blood mesenchymal stem cells (cbMSCs) are constructed using a methylcellulose hydrogel system. By maximizing cell-cell and cell-ECM communications and establishing a hypoxic microenvironment in their inner cores, these cell aggregates are capable of forming widespread tubular networks together with the angiogenic marker αvβ3 integrin; they secret multiple pro-angiogenic, pro-survival, and mobilizing factors when grown on Matrigel. The aggregates of HUVECs/cbMSCs are exogenously engrafted into the peri-infarct zones of rats with MI via direct local injection. Multimodality noninvasive imaging techniques, including positron emission tomography, single photon emission computed tomography, and echocardiography, are employed to monitor serially the beneficial effects of cell therapy on angiogenesis, blood perfusion, and global/regional ventricular function, respectively. The myocardial perfusion is correlated with ventricular contractility, demonstrating that the recovery of blood perfusion helps to restore regional cardiac function, leading to the improvement in global ventricular performance. These experimental data reveal the efficacy of the exogenous transplantation of 3D cell aggregates after MI and elucidate the mechanism of cell-mediated therapeutic angiogenesis for cardiac repair.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recurring obstacle in cell-base strategies for treating ischemic diseases is the significant loss of viable cells that is caused by the elevated levels of regional reactive oxygen species (ROS), which ultimately limits therapeutic capacity. In this study, aggregates of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and cord-blood mesenchymal stem cells (cbMSCs), which are capable of inducing therapeutic angiogenesis, are prepared. We hypothesize that the concurrent delivery of an antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) may significantly increase cell retention following the transplantation of HUVEC/cbMSC aggregates in a mouse model with hindlimb ischemia. Our in vitro results demonstrate that the antioxidant NAC can restore ROS-impaired cell adhesion and recover the reduced angiogenic potential of HUVEC/cbMSC aggregates under oxidative stress. In the animal study, we found that by scavenging the ROS generated in ischemic tissues, NAC is likely to be able to establish a receptive cell environment in the early stage of cell transplantation, promoting the adhesion, retention, and survival of cells of engrafted aggregates. Therapeutic angiogenesis is therefore enhanced and blood flow recovery and limb salvage are ultimately achieved. The combinatory strategy that uses an antioxidant and HUVEC/cbMSC aggregates may provide a new means of boosting the therapeutic efficacy of cell aggregates for the treatment of ischemic diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To celebrate the success of the Journal of Controlled Release and the research covered in the journal, here we highlight some of the most cited research articles in the history of the journal. Based on the literature search in Google Scholar in July 2013, we identified ~30 research articles that have received most number of citations. Authors of these articles were invited to provide a commentary on these articles. This compilation of commentaries gives a historical perspective and current status of research covered in these articles.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The oral route is a convenient and commonly employed way for drug delivery. However, therapeutic proteins have poor bioavailable upon oral administration due to the impermeable barrier from intestinal epithelial tight junction. Moreover, the small intestinal pH varies among different region of the intestinal tract where digestion and absorption occurs at different level. In this study, a tunable dual-emitting and pH-responsive nanocarrier that can alter the fluorescent color and emission intensity in response to pH changes and can trigger the opening of intestinal epithelial tight junction at different levels, were developed from chitosan-N-arginine and poly(γ-glutamic acid)-taurine conjugates. As pH increased from 6.0 to 8.0, the binding affinity of the oppositely charged polyions decreased, whereas the ratio of the intensity of the donor-to-acceptor emission intensity (ID/IA) increased by 27 folds. The fluorescent and pH-responsive nanocarrier that was able to monitor the pH change of intestinal environment and to control the release of an anti-angiogenic protein in response to the pH gradient. The nanocarrier triggered the opening of intestinal epithelial tight junction, consequently enhanced the permeation of the released protein through the intestinal epithelial barrier model (Caco-2 cell monolayer) to inhibit tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell transplantation via direct intramuscular injection is a promising therapy for patients with ischemic diseases. However, following injections, retention of transplanted cells in engrafted areas remains problematic, and can be deleterious to cell-transplantation therapy. In this Progress Report, a thermoresponsive hydrogel system composed of aqueous methylcellulose (MC) blended with phosphate-buffered saline is constructed to grow cell sheet fragments and cell bodies for the treatment of ischemic diseases. The as-prepared MC hydrogel system undergoes a sol-gel reversible transition upon heating or cooling at ≈32 °C. Via this unique property, the grown cell sheet fragments (cell bodies) can be harvested without using proteolytic enzymes; consequently, their inherent extracellular matrices (ECMs) and integrative adhesive agents remain well preserved. In animal studies using rats and pigs with experimentally created myocardial infarction, the injected cell sheet fragments (cell bodies) become entrapped in the interstices of muscular tissues and adhere to engraftment sites, while a minimal number of cells exist in the group receiving dissociated cells. Moreover, transplantation of cell sheet fragments (cell bodies) significantly increases vascular density, thereby improving the function of an infarcted heart. These experimental results demonstrate that cell sheet fragments (cell bodies) function as a cell-delivery construct by providing a favorable ECM environment to retain transplanted cells locally and consequently, improving the efficacy of therapeutic cell transplantation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As a cationic polysaccharide, chitosan (CS) has been identified for its potential use as a non-viral vector for exogenous gene transfection. However, owing to their electrostatic interactions, CS complexes may cause difficulties in gene release upon their arrival at the site of action, thus limiting their transfection efficiency. In this work, an attempt is made to facilitate the release of a gene by incorporating a negatively-charged poly(γ-glutamic acid) (γPGA) into CS complexes in order to diminish their attractive interactions. The mechanisms of exploiting γPGA to enhance the transfection efficiency of CS complexes are elucidated. The feasibility of using this CS/γPGA-based system for DNA or siRNA transfer is explored as well. Additionally, potential of the CS/γPGA formulation to deliver disulfide bond-conjugated dual PEGylated siRNAs for multiple gene silencing is also examined. Moreover, the genetic use of pKillerRed-mem, delivered using complexes of CS and γPGA, to express a membrane-targeted KillerRed as an intrinsically generated photosensitizer for photodynamic therapy is described.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As is widely suspected, lysolipid dissociation from liposomes contributes to the intravenous instability of ThermoDox® (Lysolipid liposomes), thereby impeding its antitumor efficacy. This work evaluates the feasibility of a thermoresponsive bubble-generating liposomal system without lysolipids for tumor-specific chemotherapy. The key component in this liposomal formulation is its encapsulated ammonium bicarbonate (ABC), which is used to actively load doxorubicin (DOX) into liposomes and trigger a drug release when heated locally. Incubating ABC liposomes with whole blood results in a significantly smaller decrease in the retention of encapsulated DOX than that by Lysolipid liposomes, indicating superior plasma stability. Biodistribution analysis results indicate that the ABC formulation circulates longer than its Lysolipid counterpart. Following the injection of ABC liposome suspension into mice with tumors heated locally, decomposition of the ABC encapsulated in liposomes facilitates the immediate thermal activation of CO2 bubble generation, subsequently increasing the intratumoral DOX accumulation. Consequently, the antitumor efficacy of the ABC liposomes is superior to that of their Lysolipid counterparts. Results of this study demonstrate that this thermoresponsive bubble-generating liposomal system is a highly promising carrier for tumor-specific chemotherapy, especially for local drug delivery mediated at hyperthermic temperatures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia often increases the likelihood of life-threatening infections. In this study, a nanoparticle (NP) system composed of chitosan and poly(γ-glutamic acid) conjugated with diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (γPGA-DTPA) was prepared for oral delivery of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), a hematopoietic growth factor. The therapeutic potential of this NP system for daily administration of G-CSF to treat neutropenia associated with chemotherapy was evaluated in a rat model. In vitro results indicate that the procedures of NP loading and release preserved the structural integrity and bioactivity of the G-CSF molecules adequately. Those results further demonstrated the enzymatic inhibition activity of γPGA-DTPA towards G-CSF against intestinal proteases. Additionally, the in vivo biodistribution study clearly identified accumulations of G-CSF in the heart, liver, bone marrow, and urinary bladder, an indication of systemic absorption of G-CSF; its relative bioavailability was approximately 13.6%. Moreover, significant glucose uptake was observed in bone marrow during G-CSF treatment, suggesting increased bone marrow metabolism and neutrophil production. Consequently, neutrophil count in the blood increased in a sustained manner; this fact may help a patient's immune system recover from the side effects of chemotherapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress and reduced pH are involved in many inﬂammatory diseases. This study describes a nanoparticle-based system that is responsive to both oxidative stress and reduced pH in an inflammatory environment to effectively release its encapsulated curcumin, an immune-modulatory agent with potent anti-inﬂammatory and antioxidant capabilities. Due to the presence of Förster resonance energy transfer between curcumin and the carrier, this system also allowed us to monitor the intracellular release behavior. The curcumin released upon triggering could efficiently reduce the excess oxidants produced by the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages. The feasibility of using the curcumin-loaded nanoparticles for anti-inflammatory applications was further validated in a mouse model with ankle inflammation induced by LPS. The results of these studies demonstrate that the proposed nanoparticle system is promising for treating oxidative stress-related diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to synthesize a cationic microbubble (CMB) conjugated with an antibody against matrix metalloproteinase 2 (CMBMMP2) to increase microbubble accumulation and gene transfection in the infarcted myocardium and to restore ventricular function following an ischemic insult. We previously reported that our CMBs enhanced the efficiency of gene transfection following ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD) in rodent hearts. Therefore, we conjugated a thiolated MMP2 antibody to the PEG chains on the CMB surface, which was verified by fluorescent microscopy. Rats underwent ischemia/reperfusion injury 3 days prior to UTMD delivery of the control or Timp3 plasmid. The CMBMMP2 improved microbubble accumulation in the infarct region, with 57% more contrast intensity compared to the non-conjugated CMB. UTMD-mediated CMBMMP2 delivery of the Timp3 gene significantly increased TIMP3 protein levels in the infarct scar and border zone at 3 days post-UTMD compared to delivery by the non-conjugated CMB. Both MMP2 and MMP9 activity were reduced in the CMBMMP2Timp3 group, which resulted in smaller and thicker infarcts and improved cardiac function. UTMD therapy with this CMBMMP2 provides an efficient platform for the targeted delivery of factors intended to preserve ventricular structure and improve cardiac function after ischemic injury.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has received considerable attention as a therapeutic treatment for cancer and other diseases; however, it is frequently accompanied by prolonged phototoxic reaction of the skin due to slow clearance of synthetic photosensitizers (PSs) administered externally. This study was designed to investigate the genetic use of pKillerRed-mem, delivered using complexes of chitosan (CS) and poly(γ-glutamic acid) (γPGA), to intracellularly express a membrane-targeted KillerRed protein that can be used as a potential PS for PDT. Following transfection with CS/pKillerRed/γPGA complexes, a red fluorescence protein of KillerRed was clearly seen at the cellular membranes. When exposed to green-light irradiation, the KillerRed-positive cells produced an excessive amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in a time-dependent manner. Data from viability assays indicate that ROS have an important role in mediating KillerRed-induced cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and anti-proliferation, suggesting that KillerRed can be used as an intrinsically generated PS for PDT treatments. Notably, the phototoxic reaction of KillerRed toward cells gradually became negligible over time, presumably because of its intracellular degradability. These experimental results demonstrate that this genetically encoded KillerRed is biodegradable and has potential for PDT-induced destruction of diseased cells.