The major challenges in treating malignant tumors are transport of therapeutic agents to hypoxic regions and real-time assessment of successful drug release via medical imaging modalities. In this study, we propose the use of macrophages (RAW 264.7 cells) as carriers of drug-loaded phase-change droplets to penetrate ischemic or hypoxic regions within tumors. The droplets consist of perfluoropentane, lipid and the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin (DOX, DOX-droplets). The efficiency of DOX-droplet uptake, migration mobility and viability of DOX-droplet-loaded macrophages (DLMs) were measured using a transmembrane cell migration assay, the alamarBlue assay and flow cytometric analysis, respectively. Our results indicate the feasibility of utilizing macrophages as DOX-droplet carriers (DOX payload of DOX-droplets: 459.3 ± 35.8 µg/mL, efficiency of cell uptake DOX-droplets: 88.8 ± 3.5%). The migration mobility (total number of migrated microphages) of DLMs decreased to 32.3% compared with that of healthy macrophages, but the DLMs provided contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging (1.7-fold enhancement) and anti-tumor effect (70.9% cell viability) after acoustic droplet vaporization, suggesting the potential theranostic applications of DLMs. Future work will assess the tumor penetration ability of DLMs, mechanical effect of droplet vaporization on in vivo anti-tumor therapy and the release of the carried drug by ultrasound-triggered vaporization.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2018 Jul|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics