Nanoencapsulation of selected payloads for biomedical imaging and therapy

  • Authors

    C.J. Serpell,1,2 R.N. Rutte,1 K. Geraki,3 E. Pach,4 M. Martincic,5 M. Kierkowicz,5 S. De Munari,1 K. Wals,1,6 R. Raj,1 B. Ballesteros,4 D.C. Anthony,6 B.G. Davis,1 M. Nazari,7,8 M. Rubio-Martinez,8 J.P. Barrio,5 F. Nazari,9 K. Konstas,8 R. Babarao,8 B.W. Muir,8 S.F. Collins,7 A.J. Hill,8 M.C. Duke,10 M.R. Hill,8 G. Tobias5

  • Publication

    Carbon nanotubes allow capture of krypton, barium and lead for multichannel biological X-ray fluorescence imaging
    Nature Communications, 7, 13118, 2016

    Metal-Organic-Framework-Coated Optical Fibers as Light-Triggered Drug Delivery Vehicles
    Advanced Functional Materials, 26 (19), 3244-3249, 2016 
  • Figure

    Design of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) contrast carrier systems to probe cellular organelles through XRF mapping. The interior of carbon nantoubes can be filled with selected compounds for XRF imaging while the external walls can be modified with targeting ligands in a modular and general manner.

The application of nanotechnology for the rational design of biomaterials is providing alternative solutions to classical treatments, thus expanding the toolbox available for biomedical imaging and therapy. Nanomaterials offer a unique platform to adjust essential properties such as solubility, diffusivity, blood-circulation half-life, pharmacokinetic profile and cytotoxicity.

Nanoencapsulation of biomedically relevant payloads into porous materials is of special interest for the development of contrast agents and smart therapeutic systems, which can for instance allow a control release of the encapsulated cargo. Among the different nanocarriers available, the tubular structure of carbon nanotubes allows to simultaneously encapsulate a chosen payload in their interior, while the external walls can be functionalized to render them dispersible, biocompatible and for targeting purposes. Within the European Project RADDEL, and in collaboration with Prof. Ben Davis from the University of Oxford, a library of elemental tags (filled carbon nanotubes with heavy elements) and targeting peptide combinations has been developed to allow mapping of cellular organelles by means of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) imaging.

Apart from the encapsulation of materials into carbon nanotubes, which has been one of our major focuses of research, we have also benefit from the developed protocols to load anticancer drugs into metal-organic frameworks. In a recent collaboration with Prof. Matthew Hill from CSIRO in Australia, we have developed light-triggered drug delivery vehicles by loading the anticancer drug 5-fluoracil within the pores of the metal-organic framework UiO-66. Towards this end, an optical fiber has been coated with the metal organic framework thus allowing to trigger the anticancer drug on demand, offering a new route to localized drug administration.

1 Chemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, UK.
2 School of Physical Sciences, Ingram Building, University of Kent, UK.
3 Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, UK.
4 Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and BIST, Spain.
5 Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Spain.
6 Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, UK.
7 Optical Technology Research Laboratory, College of Engineering & Science, Victoria University, Australia
8 CSIRO Manufacturing, Clayton, Australia
9 School of Medical Specialties, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Iran
10 Institute for Sustainability & Innovation, College of Engineering & Science, Victoria University, Australia

11 Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Australia

Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona
Campus de la UAB 08193 Bellaterra, SPAIN

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