Temperature-sensitive liposomes for doxorubicin delivery under MRI guidance

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Local drug delivery of doxorubicin holds promise to improve the therapeutic efficacy and to reduce toxicity profiles. Here, we investigated the release of doxorubicin and [Gd(HPDO3A)(H2O)] from different temperature-sensitive liposomes for applications in temperature-induced drug delivery under magnetic resonance image guidance. In particular, two temperature-sensitive systems composed of DPPC:MPPC:DPPE-PEG2000 (low temperature-sensitive liposomes, LTSL) and DPPC:HSPC:cholesterol:DPPE-PEG2000 (traditional temperature-sensitive liposomes, TTSL) were investigated. The co-encapsulation of [Gd(HPDO3A)(H2O)], a clinically approved MRI contrast agent, did not influence the encapsulation and release of doxorubicin. The LTSL system showed a higher leakage of doxorubicin at 37 °C, but a faster release of doxorubicin at 42 °C compared to the TTSL system. Furthermore, the rapid release of both doxorubicin and the MRI contrast agent from the liposomes occurred near the melting phase transition temperature, making it possible to image the release of doxorubicin using MRI.Graphical abstract

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