Special Issue "Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Luigi Pasqua

Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials, University of Calabria, Via P. Bucci, 87036, Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy
E-Mail
Phone: +39-0984-496642
Interests: mesoporous silica-based materials; hybrid organic-inorganic mesoporous materials; multifunctional mesoporous materials; stimuli-responsive hybrid materials; stimuli-responsive hybrid porous materials; self assembling materials.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Nanomaterials, “Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies,” focuses on new approaches for developing nanostructured devices that are able to replace systemic chemotherapy with localized or intracellular drug release, so as to reduce toxicity and side effects, while maximizing therapeutic efficacy.

The original research papers published in this Special Issue will highlight the relationship between device structure and the device's ability to respond to stimuli, or to themselves induce modifications in living organisms, such as in cancer cells. From this point of view, the Special Issue will present an engineering approach that is inspired by the biological specificity of tumor structures, and which represents a methodological benchmark for research groups involved in the development of smart cancer therapies within the different areas of nanomaterials. In this way, the publication of high level articles will contribute toward, and allow for, the rapid diffusion of results and a rapid increase in scientific progress.

Dr. Luigi Pasqua
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • nanostructured drug targeting devices
  • nanomaterials for cancer
  • smart cancer therapies
  • intracellular drug release
  • cancer nanotechnology
  • nanodevices for cancer therapies
  • multifunctional drug targeting devices
  • stimuli-responsive nanomaterials
  • stimuli-responsive therapeutic devices
  • biological response triggering devices

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Distribution of Iron Oxide Core-Titanium Dioxide Shell Nanoparticles in VX2 Tumor Bearing Rabbits Introduced by Two Different Delivery Modalities
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(8), 143; doi:10.3390/nano6080143
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 10 July 2016 / Accepted: 21 July 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
PDF Full-text (2748 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This work compares intravenous (IV) versus fluoroscopy-guided transarterial intra-catheter (IC) delivery of iron oxide core-titanium dioxide shell nanoparticles (NPs) in vivo in VX2 model of liver cancer in rabbits. NPs coated with glucose and decorated with a peptide sequence from cortactin were administered
[...] Read more.
This work compares intravenous (IV) versus fluoroscopy-guided transarterial intra-catheter (IC) delivery of iron oxide core-titanium dioxide shell nanoparticles (NPs) in vivo in VX2 model of liver cancer in rabbits. NPs coated with glucose and decorated with a peptide sequence from cortactin were administered to animals with developed VX2 liver cancer. Two hours after NPs delivery tumors, normal liver, kidney, lung and spleen tissues were harvested and used for a series on histological and elemental analysis tests. Quantification of NPs in tissues was done both by bulk inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis and by hard X-ray fluorescence microscopy. Both IV and IC NPs injection are feasible modalities for delivering NPs to VX2 liver tumors with comparable tumor accumulation. It is possible that this is an outcome of the fact that VX2 tumors are highly vascularized and hemorrhagic, and therefore enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) plays the most significant role in accumulation of nanoparticles in tumor tissue. It is, however, interesting to note that IV delivery led to increased sequestration of NPs by spleen and normal liver tissue, while IC delivery lead to more NP positive Kupffer cells. This difference is most likely a direct outcome of blood flow dynamics. Armed with this knowledge about nanoparticle delivery, we plan to test them as radiosensitizers in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Human Serum Albumin Nanoparticles for Use in Cancer Drug Delivery: Process Optimization and In Vitro Characterization
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(6), 116; doi:10.3390/nano6060116
Received: 12 April 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3898 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human serum albumin nanoparticles (HSA-NPs) are widely-used drug delivery systems with applications in various diseases, like cancer. For intravenous administration of HSA-NPs, the particle size, surface charge, drug loading and in vitro release kinetics are important parameters for consideration. This study focuses on
[...] Read more.
Human serum albumin nanoparticles (HSA-NPs) are widely-used drug delivery systems with applications in various diseases, like cancer. For intravenous administration of HSA-NPs, the particle size, surface charge, drug loading and in vitro release kinetics are important parameters for consideration. This study focuses on the development of stable HSA-NPs containing the anti-cancer drug paclitaxel (PTX) via the emulsion-solvent evaporation method using a high-pressure homogenizer. The key parameters for the preparation of PTX-HSA-NPs are: the starting concentrations of HSA, PTX and the organic solvent, including the homogenization pressure and its number cycles, were optimized. Results indicate a size of 143.4 ± 0.7 nm and 170.2 ± 1.4 nm with a surface charge of −5.6 ± 0.8 mV and −17.4 ± 0.5 mV for HSA-NPs and PTX-HSA-NPs (0.5 mg/mL of PTX), respectively. The yield of the PTX-HSA-NPs was ~93% with an encapsulation efficiency of ~82%. To investigate the safety and effectiveness of the PTX-HSA-NPs, an in vitro drug release and cytotoxicity assay was performed on human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7). The PTX-HSA-NPs showed dose-dependent toxicity on cells of 52%, 39.3% and 22.6% with increasing concentrations of PTX at 8, 20.2 and 31.4 μg/mL, respectively. In summary, all parameters involved in HSA-NPs’ preparation, its anticancer efficacy and scale-up are outlined in this research article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
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Open AccessArticle Targeting and Photodynamic Killing of Cancer Cell by Nitrogen-Doped Titanium Dioxide Coupled with Folic Acid
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(6), 113; doi:10.3390/nano6060113
Received: 27 April 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 1 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1578 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has attracted wide attention as a potential photosensitizer (PS) in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, bare TiO2 can only be excited by ultraviolet illumination, and it lacks specific targeting ligands, which largely impede its application. In our study,
[...] Read more.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has attracted wide attention as a potential photosensitizer (PS) in photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, bare TiO2 can only be excited by ultraviolet illumination, and it lacks specific targeting ligands, which largely impede its application. In our study, we produced nitrogen-doped TiO2 and linked it with an effective cancer cell targeting agent, folic acid (FA), to obtain N-TiO2-FA nanoconjugates. Characterization of N-TiO2-FA included Zeta potential, absorption spectra and thermogravimetric analysis. The results showed that N-TiO2-FA was successfully produced and it possessed better dispersibility in aqueous solution than unmodified TiO2. The N-TiO2-FA was incubated with human nasopharyngeal carcinoma (KB) and human pulmonary adenocarcinoma (A549) cells. The KB cells that overexpress folate receptors (FR) on cell membranes were used as FR-positive cancer cells, while A549 cells were used as FR-negative cells. Laser scanning confocal microscopy results showed that KB cells had a higher uptake efficiency of N-TiO2-FA, which was about twice that of A549 cells. Finally, N-TiO2-FA is of no cytotoxicity, and has a better photokilling effect on KB cells under visible light irradiation. In conclusion, N-TiO2-FA can be as high-value as a PS in cancer targeting PDT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Gd-Si Oxide Nanoparticles as Contrast Agents in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(6), 109; doi:10.3390/nano6060109
Received: 29 March 2016 / Revised: 6 May 2016 / Accepted: 27 May 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
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Abstract
We describe the synthesis, characterization and application as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging of a novel type of magnetic nanoparticle based on Gd-Si oxide, which presents high Gd3+ atom density. For this purpose, we have used a Prussian Blue analogue as
[...] Read more.
We describe the synthesis, characterization and application as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging of a novel type of magnetic nanoparticle based on Gd-Si oxide, which presents high Gd3+ atom density. For this purpose, we have used a Prussian Blue analogue as the sacrificial template by reacting with soluble silicate, obtaining particles with nanorod morphology and of small size (75 nm). These nanoparticles present good biocompatibility and higher longitudinal and transversal relaxivity values than commercial Gd3+ solutions, which significantly improves the sensitivity of in vivo magnetic resonance images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
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Open AccessArticle PDE5 Inhibitors-Loaded Nanovesicles: Physico-Chemical Properties and In Vitro Antiproliferative Activity
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(5), 92; doi:10.3390/nano6050092
Received: 9 April 2016 / Revised: 8 May 2016 / Accepted: 11 May 2016 / Published: 18 May 2016
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Abstract
Novel therapeutic approaches are required for the less differentiated thyroid cancers which are non-responsive to the current treatment. In this study we tested an innovative formulation of nanoliposomes containing sildenafil citrate or tadalafil, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, on two human thyroid cancer cell lines (TPC-1
[...] Read more.
Novel therapeutic approaches are required for the less differentiated thyroid cancers which are non-responsive to the current treatment. In this study we tested an innovative formulation of nanoliposomes containing sildenafil citrate or tadalafil, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, on two human thyroid cancer cell lines (TPC-1 and BCPAP). Nanoliposomes were prepared by the thin layer evaporation and extrusion methods, solubilizing the hydrophilic compound sildenafil citrate in the aqueous phase during the hydration step and dissolving the lipophilic tadalafil in the organic phase. Nanoliposomes, made up of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine monohydrate (DPPC), cholesterol, and N-(carbonyl-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000)-1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DSPE-mPEG2000) (6:3:1 molar ratio), were characterized by a mean diameter of ~100 nm, a very low polydispersity index (~0.1) and a negative surface charge. The drugs did not influence the physico-chemical properties of the systems and were efficiently retained in the colloidal structure. By using cell count and MTT assay, we found a significant reduction of the viability in both cell lines following 24 h treatment with both nanoliposomal-encapsulated drugs, notably greater than the effect of the free drugs. Our findings demonstrate that nanoliposomes increase the antiproliferative activity of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, providing a useful novel formulation for the treatment of thyroid carcinoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
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Open AccessArticle Cytotoxic Induction and Photoacoustic Imaging of Breast Cancer Cells Using Astaxanthin-Reduced Gold Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(4), 78; doi:10.3390/nano6040078
Received: 25 March 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2069 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Astaxanthin, a kind of photosynthetic pigment, was employed for gold nanoparticle formation. Nanoparticles were characterized using Ulteraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction, and the possible presence of astaxanthin functional groups were analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The cytotoxic
[...] Read more.
Astaxanthin, a kind of photosynthetic pigment, was employed for gold nanoparticle formation. Nanoparticles were characterized using Ulteraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction, and the possible presence of astaxanthin functional groups were analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The cytotoxic effect of synthesized nanoparticles was evaluated against MDA-MB-231 (human breast cancer cells) using a tetrazolium-based assay, and synthesized nanoparticles exhibited dose-dependent toxicity. The morphology upon cell death was differentiated through fluorescent microscopy using different stains that predicted apoptosis. The synthesized nanoparticles were applied in ultrasound-coupled photoacoustic imaging to obtain good images of treated cells. Astaxanthin-reduced gold nanoparticle has the potential to act as a promising agent in the field of photo-based diagnosis and therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
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Open AccessCommunication Degradable Dextran Nanopolymer as a Carrier for Choline Kinase (ChoK) siRNA Cancer Therapy
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(2), 34; doi:10.3390/nano6020034
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 4 February 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
PDF Full-text (1289 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Although small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapy has proven to be a specific and effective treatment in cells, the delivery of siRNA is a challenge for the applications of siRNA therapy. We present a degradable dextran with amine groups as an siRNA nano-carrier. In
[...] Read more.
Although small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapy has proven to be a specific and effective treatment in cells, the delivery of siRNA is a challenge for the applications of siRNA therapy. We present a degradable dextran with amine groups as an siRNA nano-carrier. In our nano-carrier, the amine groups are conjugated to the dextran platform through the acetal bonds, which are acid sensitive. Therefore this siRNA carrier is stable in neutral and basic conditions, while the amine groups can be cleaved and released from dextran platform under weak acid conditions (such as in endosomes). The cleavage and release of amine groups can reduce the toxicity of cationic polymer and enhance the transfection efficiency. We successfully applied this nano-carrier to deliver choline kinase (ChoK) siRNA for ChoK inhibition in cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
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Open AccessArticle Chalcopyrite Nanoparticles as a Sustainable Thermoelectric Material
Nanomaterials 2015, 5(4), 1820-1830; doi:10.3390/nano5041820
Received: 17 August 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 29 October 2015
PDF Full-text (652 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this report, copper iron sulfide nanoparticles with various composition were synthesized by a thermolysis based wet chemical method. These inherently sustainable nanoparticles were then fully characterized in terms of composition, structure, and morphology, as well as for suitability as a thermoelectric material.
[...] Read more.
In this report, copper iron sulfide nanoparticles with various composition were synthesized by a thermolysis based wet chemical method. These inherently sustainable nanoparticles were then fully characterized in terms of composition, structure, and morphology, as well as for suitability as a thermoelectric material. The merits of the material preparation include a straightforward bulk material formation where particles do not require any specialized treatment, such as spark plasma sintering or thermal heating. The Seebeck coefficient of the materials reveals P-type conductivity with a maximum value of 203 µV/K. The results give insight into how to design and create a new class of sustainable nanoparticle material for thermoelectric applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
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Open AccessArticle Preparation of GST Inhibitor Nanoparticle Drug Delivery System and Its Reversal Effect on the Multidrug Resistance in Oral Carcinoma
Nanomaterials 2015, 5(4), 1571-1587; doi:10.3390/nano5041571
Received: 25 August 2015 / Revised: 23 September 2015 / Accepted: 24 September 2015 / Published: 29 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1928 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During the chemotherapy of cancer, drug resistance is the first issue that chemotherapeutic drugs cannot be effectively used for the treatment of cancers repeatedly for a long term, and the main reason for this is that tumor cell detoxification is mediated by GSH
[...] Read more.
During the chemotherapy of cancer, drug resistance is the first issue that chemotherapeutic drugs cannot be effectively used for the treatment of cancers repeatedly for a long term, and the main reason for this is that tumor cell detoxification is mediated by GSH (glutathione) catalyzed by GST (glutathione-S-transferase). In this study, a GST inhibitor, ethacrynic acid (ECA), was designed to be coupled with methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactide) (MPEG–PLA) by disulfide bonds to prepare methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactide)-disulphide bond-mthacrynic acid (MPEG–PLA–SS–ECA) as a carrier material of the nanoparticles. Nanoparticles of pingyangmycin (PYM) and carboplatin (CBP) were prepared, respectively, and their physicochemical properties were investigated. The ECA at the disulfide could be released in the presence of GSH, the pingyangmycin, carboplatin and ECA were all uniformly released, and the nanoparticles could release all the drugs completely within 10 days. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of the prepared MPEG–PLA–SS–ECA/CBP and MPEG–PLA–SS–ECA/PYM nanoparticles in drug-resistant oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines SCC15/CBP and SCC15/PYM cells was 12.68 μg·mL1 and 12.76 μg·mL1, respectively; the resistant factor RF of them in the drug-resistant cells were 1.51 and 1.24, respectively, indicating that MPEG–PLA–SS–ECA nanoparticles can reverse the drug resistance of these two drug-resistant cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Lipid Nanovectors to Deliver RNA Oligonucleotides in Cancer
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(7), 131; doi:10.3390/nano6070131
Received: 4 May 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 1 July 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (714 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The growing knowledge on the mechanisms of gene silencing and gene regulation by non-coding RNAs (ncRNA), mainly small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA), is providing a significant boost to the development of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of cancer. However, the
[...] Read more.
The growing knowledge on the mechanisms of gene silencing and gene regulation by non-coding RNAs (ncRNA), mainly small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA), is providing a significant boost to the development of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of cancer. However, the design of RNA-based therapeutics is hampered by biopharmaceutical issues, thus requiring the use of suitable delivery strategies. In this regards, lipid nanovectors have been successfully investigated to deliver RNA in different forms of cancer. Compared to other biomaterials, lipids offer advantages such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, easy production, low cost, limited toxicity and immunogenicity. The possibility to formulate these materials in the form of nanovectors allows overcoming biopharmaceutical issues associated to the therapeutic use of RNA, with the possibility to target tumors. This review takes stock of the main lipid nanovectors proposed to deliver ncRNA. For each considered delivery strategy, the rational design and the most meaningful in vitro and in vivo results are reported and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
Open AccessReview Soft Interaction in Liposome Nanocarriers for Therapeutic Drug Delivery
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(7), 125; doi:10.3390/nano6070125
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 25 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5811 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of smart nanocarriers for the delivery of therapeutic drugs has experienced considerable expansion in recent decades, with the development of new medicines devoted to cancer treatment. In this respect a wide range of strategies can be developed by employing liposome nanocarriers
[...] Read more.
The development of smart nanocarriers for the delivery of therapeutic drugs has experienced considerable expansion in recent decades, with the development of new medicines devoted to cancer treatment. In this respect a wide range of strategies can be developed by employing liposome nanocarriers with desired physico-chemical properties that, by exploiting a combination of a number of suitable soft interactions, can facilitate the transit through the biological barriers from the point of administration up to the site of drug action. As a result, the materials engineer has generated through the bottom up approach a variety of supramolecular nanocarriers for the encapsulation and controlled delivery of therapeutics which have revealed beneficial developments for stabilizing drug compounds, overcoming impediments to cellular and tissue uptake, and improving biodistribution of therapeutic compounds to target sites. Herein we present recent advances in liposome drug delivery by analyzing the main structural features of liposome nanocarriers which strongly influence their interaction in solution. More specifically, we will focus on the analysis of the relevant soft interactions involved in drug delivery processes which are responsible of main behaviour of soft nanocarriers in complex physiological fluids. Investigation of the interaction between liposomes at the molecular level can be considered an important platform for the modeling of the molecular recognition processes occurring between cells. Some relevant strategies to overcome the biological barriers during the drug delivery of the nanocarriers are presented which outline the main structure-properties relationships as well as their advantages (and drawbacks) in therapeutic and biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
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