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Ultrasound-Responsive Polymeric Micelles for Sonoporation-Assisted Site-Specific Therapeutic Action

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journal contribution
posted on 25.07.2017, 14:19 by Pengying Wu, Yali Jia, Fei Qu, Yue Sun, Pan Wang, Kun Zhang, Chuanshan Xu, Quanhong Liu, Xiaobing Wang
Targeting drug delivery remains a challenge in various disease treatment including cancer. The local drug deposit could be greatly enhanced by some external stimuli-responsive systems. Here we develop pluronic P123/F127 polymeric micelles (M) encapsulating curcumin (Cur) that are permeabilized directly by focused ultrasound, in which ultrasound triggers drug release. Tumor preferential accumulation and site-specific sonochemotherapy were then evaluated. Cur-loaded P123/F127 mixed micelles (Cur-M) exhibited longer circulating time and increased cellular uptake compared to free Cur. With the assistance of focused ultrasound treatment, Cur-M showed tumor-targeting deposition in a time-dependent manner following systemic administration. This was due to enhanced permeabilization of tumor regions and increased penetration of Cur-M in irradiated tumor cells by ultrasound sonoporation. Furthermore, Cur-M self-assembly could be regulated by ultrasound irradiation. In vitro Cur release from mixed micelles was greatly dependent on ultrasound intensity but not on duration, suggesting the cavitational threshold was necessary to initiate subsequent sonochemotherapy. In vivo site-specific drug release was demonstrated in dual-tumor models, which showed spatial-temporal release of entrapped drugs following intratumoral injection. The sonoporation-assisted site-specific chemotherapy significantly inhibited tumor growth and the decrease in tumor weight was approximately 6.5-fold more than without exposure to ultrasound irradiation. In conclusion, the established ultrasound-guided nanomedicine targeting deposit and local release may represent a new strategy to improve chemotherapy efficiency.