Indexed on: 14 Apr '18Published on: 14 Apr '18Published in: International journal of molecular sciences
To prolong blood circulation and avoid the triggering of immune responses, nanoparticles in the bloodstream require conjugation with polyethylene glycol (PEG). However, PEGylation hinders the interaction between the nanoparticles and the tumor cells and therefore limits the applications of PEGylated nanoparticles for therapeutic drug delivery. To overcome this limitation, zwitterionic materials can be used to enhance the systemic blood circulation and tumor-specific delivery of hydrophobic agents such as IR-780 iodide dye for photothermal therapy. Herein, we developed micellar nanoparticles using the amphiphilic homopolymer poly(12-(methacryloyloxy)dodecyl phosphorylcholine) (PCB-lipid) synthesized via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The PCB-lipid can self-assemble into micelles and encapsulate IR-780 dye (PCB-lipid-IR-780). Our results demonstrated that PCB-lipid-IR-780 nanoparticle (NP) exhibited low cytotoxicity and remarkable photothermal cytotoxicity to cervical cancer cells (TC-1) upon near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation. The biodistribution of PCB-lipid-IR-780 showed higher accumulation of PCB-lipid-IR-780 than that of free IR-780 in the TC-1 tumor. Furthermore, following NIR laser irradiation of the tumor region, the PCB-lipid-IR-780 accumulated in the tumor facilitated enhanced tumor ablation and subsequent tumor regression in the TC-1 xenograft model. Hence, these zwitterionic polymer-lipid hybrid micellar nanoparticles show great potential for cancer theranostics and might be beneficial for clinical applications.