The tumour microenvironment regulates tumour progression and the spread of cancer in the body. Targeting the stromal cells that surround cancer cells could, therefore, improve the effectiveness of existing cancer treatments. Here, we show that magnetic nanoparticle clusters encapsulated inside a liposome can, under the influence of an external magnet, target both the tumour and its microenvironment. We use the outstanding T 2 contrast properties (r 2 = 573-1,286s -1 mM -1) of these ferri-liposomes, which are ∼95nm in diameter, to non-invasively monitor drug delivery in vivo. We also visualize the targeting of the tumour microenvironment by the drug-loaded ferri-liposomes and the uptake of a model probe by cells. Furthermore, we used the ferri-liposomes to deliver a cathepsin protease inhibitor to a mammary tumour and its microenvironment in a mouse, which substantially reduced the size of the tumour compared with systemic delivery of the same drug.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics