Foundation-funded Research Update: Drug Delivery Strategies


Yuana YuanaResearchers at University Medical Center Utrecht led by Yuana Yuana, PhD, recently completed a Foundation-funded research project and published their findings in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

The project, titled, “Drug Delivery Strategies Using Drug-loaded Extracellular Vesicles Generated by Microbubble-assisted Ultrasound,” sought to determine whether extracellular vesicles (EVs) could be used as drug nanocarriers to treat tumor cells. The team chose to study EVs because they are in nanometer size and provide a natural form of communication between cells by transferring proteins, lipids, and genetic materials originated from their parent cells.

After previous studies showed that focused ultrasound plus microbubbles could trigger cancer cells to release EVs, the team attempted and succeeded at using an in vitro process to load primary human endothelial cells with either CellTracker™ green fluorescent dye (CTG) or bovine serum albumin conjugated with fluorescein isothiocyanate (BSA FITC). The process subsequently triggered the release of EVs containing these compounds in the cell supernatant within 2 hours after treatment, and the amount of EV released appeared to be correlated with increases in acoustic pressure. Co-culturing the EVs with recipient tumor cells resulted in the tumor cells uptaking the CTG and BSA FITC from the EVs within 4 hours.

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Read the Paper in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences >