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Loaded nanoparticles improve combination cancer treatments

NOV 17, 2023
Novel fabrication of specialized nanoparticles streamlines their use in phototherapy and chemotherapy treatments.
Loaded nanoparticles improve combination cancer treatments internal name

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When treating cancer, medical professionals are increasingly turning to combination therapies, which synergistically combine multiple strategies to improve treatments in cases of recurrence, drug resistance, and limited efficacy. One promising method blends chemotherapy with phototherapy, which uses nanoparticles to convert heat into light to kill cancer cells. Liu et al. presented a novel method to create loaded nanoparticles for drug delivery that can improve controllable combination therapy.

The loaded nanoparticles used two materials previously documented to aid in these treatment methods —polymer polypyrrole (PPy), a promising photothermal agent, and doxorubicin (DOX) molecules, which aid in chemotherapy treatments. The team fabricated the nanoparticles in a two-step process, using a modified polymerization method to synthesize the photothermal component of the nanoparticles and a schiff bases reaction to load the DOX molecules.

Tests were run on the resulting loaded nanoparticles to confirm their loading efficiency and photothermal effects. Additional lab tests conducted on HeLa cells allowed the authors to determine the nanoparticle’s safety and effectiveness in in vitro photothermal therapy and combined tumor therapy.

“We found the obtained nanoparticles possess a high photothermal effect, superior DOX loading capacity, and a controlled drug release behavior,” said author Xiaohui Wang. “The nanoparticles have significantly enhanced the antitumor therapy effect and show great potential application in synergetic photothermal-chemotherapy.”

The authors hope the work will help improve the efficacy of combination therapies. Next, they plan to study microfluidics in order to further improve the effectiveness of combined tumor treatments.

Source: “Polypyrrole nanoparticles loaded with doxorubicin for pH-responsive combinational photothermal-chemotherapy of cancer cells,” by Jinhua Liu, Guoren Zhu, Yuanan Liu, and Xiaohui Wang, AIP Advances (2023). The article can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0178702 .

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