Original Article

Drug packaging and delivery using perfluorocarbon nanoparticles for targeted inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cells

Authors: Zhao-xiong Zhou, Bai-gen Zhang, Hao Zhang, Xiao-zhong Huang, Ya-li Hu, Li Sun, Xiao-min Wang, Ji-wei Zhang
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2009.146


Aim: To investigate the in vitro release profile of drugs encapsulated within perfluorocarbon (PFC) nanoparticles (NPs) and their ability to inhibit the activity of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs).
Methods: Dexamethasone phosphate (DxP) or dexamethasone acetate (DxA) was encapsulated into PFC nanoparticles using a high-pressure homogenous method. The morphology and size of the NPs were examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and a laser particle size analyzer. Drug loading and in vitro release were assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The impact of NP capsules on SMC proliferation, migration and apoptosis in vitro was assessed using cell counting kit-8, transwell cell migration and flow cytometry assays.
Results: The sizes of DxP-NPs and DxA-NPs were 224±6 nm and 236±9 nm, respectively. The encapsulation efficiency (EE) of DxP-NPs was 66.4%±1.0%, with an initial release rate of 77.2%, whereas the EE of DxA-NPs was 95.3%±1.3%, with an initial release rate of 23.6%. Both of the NP-coated drugs could be released over 7 d. Human umbilical artery SMCs were harvested and cultured for four to six passages. Compared to free DxP, SMCs treated with tissue factor (TF)-directed DxP-NPs showed significant differences in the inhibition of proliferation, migration and apoptosis (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The results collectively suggest that PFC nanoparticles will be beneficial for targeted drug delivery because of the sustained drug release and effective inhibition of SMC proliferation and migration.

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