The development of artificial vesicles into responsive architectures capable of sensing the biological environment and simultaneously signaling the presence of a specific target molecule is a key challenge in a range of biomedical applications from drug delivery to diagnostic tools. Herein, the rational design of biomimetic DNA-grafted quatsome (QS) nanovesicles capable of translating the binding of a target molecule to amphiphilic DNA probes into an optical output is presented.
QSs are synthetic lipid-based nanovesicles able to confine multiple organic dyes at the nanoscale, resulting in ultra-bright soft materials with attractiveness for sensing applications. Dye-loaded QS nanovesicles of different composition and surface charge are grafted with fluorescent amphiphilic nucleic acid-based probes to produce programmable FRET-active nanovesicles that operate as highly sensitive signal transducers. The photophysical properties of the DNA-grafted nanovesicles are characterized and the highly selective, ratiometric detection of clinically relevant microRNAs with sensitivity in the low nanomolar range are demonstrated. The potential applications of responsive QS nanovesicles for biosensing applications but also as functional nanodevices for targeted biomedical applications is envisaged.
Bioactive materials for therapy and diagnosis
Engineering DNA-Grafted Quatsomes as Stable Nucleic Acid-Responsive Fluorescent Nanovesicles
Marianna Rossetti, Lorenzo Stella, Judit Morlà-Folch, Sara Bobone, Ariadna Boloix, Lorena Baranda, Danila Moscone, Mònica Roldán, Jaume Veciana, Miguel F. Segura, Mariana Köber, Nora Ventosa, Alessandro Porchetta
Purpose: The aim of our study was to assess if the sodium salt of cobaltabis(dicarbollide) and its di-iodinated derivative (Na[o-COSAN] and Na[8,8′-I2-o-COSAN]) could be promising agents for dual anti-cancer treatment (chemotherapy + BNCT) for GBM. Methods: The biological activities of the small molecules were evaluated in vitro with glioblastoma cells lines U87 and T98G in 2D and 3D cell models and in vivo in the small model animal Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) at the L4-stage and using the eggs. Results: Our studies indicated that only spheroids from the U87 cell line have impaired growth after treatment with both compounds, suggesting an increased resistance from T98G spheroids, contrary to what was observed in the monolayer culture, which highlights the need to employ 3D models for future GBM studies.
Carbon dots are an emerging family of zero-dimensional nanocarbons behaving as tunable light harvesters and photoactivated charge donors. Coupling them to carbon nanotubes, which are well-known electron acceptors with excellent charge transport capabilities, is very promising for several applications.
Fabricating polymeric scaffolds using cost-effective manufacturing processes is still challenging. Gas foaming techniques using supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) have attracted attention for producing synthetic polymer matrices; however, the high-pressure requirements are often a technological barrier for its widespread use. Compressed 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane, known as Freon R134a, offers advantages over CO2 in manufacturing processes in terms of lower pressure and temperature conditions and the use of low-cost equipment.
The increasing use of mechanical thrombectomy in stroke management has opened the window to local intraarterial brain delivery of therapeutic agents. In this context, the use of nanomedicine could further improve the delivery of new treatments for specific brain targeting, tracking and guidance. In this study we take advantage of this new endovascular approach to deliver biocompatible poly(D-L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanocapsules functionalized with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and Cy7.5 for magnetic targeting, magnetic resonance and fluorescent molecular imaging.
The anionic cobaltabis (dicarbollide) [3,3′-Co(1,2-C2B9H11)2]−, [o-COSAN]−, is the most studied icosahedral metallacarborane. The sodium salts of [o-COSAN]− could be an ideal candidate for the anti-cancer treatment Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) as it possesses the ability to readily cross biological membranes thereby producing cell cycle arrest in cancer cells. BNCT is a cancer therapy based on the potential of 10B atoms to produce α particles that cross tissues in which the 10B is accumulated without damaging the surrounding healthy tissues, after being irradiated with low energy thermal neutrons.