Surface functionalized nanoparticles (NPs) are gaining great importance in the biomedical field due to the emerging role of nanomedicine. Nanotechnology is orienteering towards the development of nano-medical devices as drug delivery and diagnostic systems with improved properties and reduced side effects if compared to traditional medicine. This is particularly true for highly cytotoxic drugs such as those used in chemotherapy treatments that, if inserted in a NP, can reduce their toxicity towards healthy tissues. Moreover, the presence of a specific molecular entity (ligand) on the NPs’ surface, can target the nanodevice to specific tissue; this can be used for direct tumor targeting, exploiting its overexpression of specific receptor recognized by specific ligands, or can allow to reach biological districts, for which drugs usually show a very low tropism.
We generated sugar decorated polymeric NPs loaded with cytotoxic drugs, designed to be engulf by immune cells and used them as Live-Cell Drug Delivery systems.[1,2] As polymer we selected poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) as it is one of the most used polymers to prepare biodegradable-biocompatible nanoparticles. In addition, PLGA has been approved by US FDA and European Medicine Agency (EMA) in various drug delivery systems for the human use. For the surface decoration we used different sugars and sugar-dendrimers, that exploit specific receptors on cell surface. In this context we adopted a chemoselective method applied on a free sugar, that can be extended to the conjugation of any sugar/oligosaccharide moiety bearing a reducing end. Biological studies demonstrated the ability of the realised nanovectors to act as drug-carries within a solid tumor targeting system.
- . Maeda, R. Avigni, B. La Ferla, F. Torres Andon, P. Allavena “The live-cell drug delivery using monocytes loaded chemotherapeutic nanoparticles” 2018 Keystone Symposia Conference: Cancer Immunotherapy March 23 - March 27, 2018, Montreal, Canada.
- Manuscript in preparation
- A Palmioli, B. La Ferla. Organic Letters, 2018, 20(12), 3509-3512.