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Targeted Liposome-Loaded Microbubbles for Cell-Specific Ultrasound-Triggered Drug Delivery

Authors

  • Bart Geers,

    1. Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines, Laboratory of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Harelbekestraat 72, 9000 Ghent, Belgium, Tel: +32 9 264 80 76; Fax: +32 9 264 81 89
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  • Olivier De Wever,

    1. Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Ghent University Hospital (UZ Gent), De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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  • Joseph Demeester,

    1. Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines, Laboratory of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Harelbekestraat 72, 9000 Ghent, Belgium, Tel: +32 9 264 80 76; Fax: +32 9 264 81 89
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  • Marc Bracke,

    1. Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Ghent University Hospital (UZ Gent), De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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  • Stefaan C. De Smedt,

    Corresponding author
    1. Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines, Laboratory of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Harelbekestraat 72, 9000 Ghent, Belgium, Tel: +32 9 264 80 76; Fax: +32 9 264 81 89
    • Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines, Laboratory of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Harelbekestraat 72, 9000 Ghent, Belgium, Tel: +32 9 264 80 76; Fax: +32 9 264 81 89.

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  • Ine Lentacker

    1. Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines, Laboratory of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Harelbekestraat 72, 9000 Ghent, Belgium, Tel: +32 9 264 80 76; Fax: +32 9 264 81 89
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Abstract

One of the main problems in cancer treatment is disease relapse through metastatic colonization, which is caused by circulating tumor cells (CTCs). This work reports on liposome-loaded microbubbles targeted to N-cadherin, a cell–cell adhesion molecule expressed by CTCs. It is shown that such microbubbles can indeed bind to N-cadherin at the surface of HMB2 cells. Interestingly, in a mixture of cells with and without N-cadherin expression, binding of the liposome-loaded microbubbles mainly occurs to the N-cadherin-expressing cells. Importantly, applying ultrasound results in the intracellular delivery of a model drug (loaded in the liposomes) in the N-cadherin-expressing cells only. As described in this paper, such liposome-loaded microbubbles may find application as theranostics and in devices aimed for the specific killing of CTCs in blood.

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