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Macrophages Actively Transport Nanoparticles in Tumors After Extravasation

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posted on 2022-04-12, 14:09 authored by Zachary Pengju Lin, Luan N. M. Nguyen, Ben Ouyang, Presley MacMillan, Jessica Ngai, Benjamin R. Kingston, Stefan M. Mladjenovic, Warren C. W. Chan
Nanoparticles need to navigate a complex microenvironment to target cells in solid tumors after extravasation. Diffusion is currently the accepted primary mechanism for nanoparticle distribution in tumors. However, the extracellular matrix can limit nanoparticle diffusion. Here, we identified tumor-associated macrophages as another key player in transporting and redistributing nanoparticles in the tumor microenvironment. We found tumor-associated macrophages actively migrate toward nanoparticles extravasated from the vessels, engulfing and redistributing them in the tumor stroma. The macrophages can carry the nanoparticles 2–5 times deeper in the tumor than passive diffusion. The amount of nanoparticles transported by the tumor-associated macrophages is size-dependent. Understanding the nanoparticle behavior after extravasation will provide strategies to engineer them to navigate the microenvironment for improved intratumoral targeting and therapeutic effectiveness.

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