Multifunctionalized iron oxide nanoparticles for selective drug delivery to CD44-positive cancer cells.

Antonio Aires, Sandra M Ocampo, Bruno M Simões, María Josefa Rodríguez, Pierre Couleaud, Katherine Spence, Alfonso Latorre, Rodolfo Miranda, Álvaro Somoza, Robert Clarke, José L Carrascosa, Aitziber L Cortajarena

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Nanomedicine nowadays offers novel solutions in cancer therapy and diagnosis by introducing multimodal treatments and imaging tools in one single formulation. Nanoparticles acting as nanocarriers change the solubility, biodistribution and efficiency of therapeutic molecules, reducing their side effects. In order to successfully apply these novel therapeutic approaches, efforts are focused on the biological functionalization of the nanoparticles to improve the selectivity towards cancer cells. In this work, we present the synthesis and characterization of novel multifunctionalized iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) with antiCD44 antibody and gemcitabine derivatives, and their application for the selective treatment of CD44-positive cancer cells. The lymphocyte homing receptor CD44 is overexpressed in a large variety of cancer cells, but also in cancer stem cells (CSCs) and circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Therefore, targeting CD44-overexpressing cells is a challenging and promising anticancer strategy. Firstly, we demonstrate the targeting of antiCD44 functionalized MNPs to different CD44-positive cancer cell lines using a CD44-negative non-tumorigenic cell line as a control, and verify the specificity by ultrastructural characterization and downregulation of CD44 expression. Finally, we show the selective drug delivery potential of the MNPs by the killing of CD44-positive cancer cells using a CD44-negative non-tumorigenic cell line as a control. In conclusion, the proposed multifunctionalized MNPs represent an excellent biocompatible nanoplatform for selective CD44-positive cancer therapy in vitro.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)065103
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2016


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