Combining the single-walled carbon nanotubes with low voltage electrical stimulation to improve accumulation of nanomedicines in tumor for effective cancer therapy


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Abstract

Effective delivery of biomolecules or functional nanoparticles into target sites has always been the primary objective for cancer therapy. We demonstrated that by combining single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with low-voltage (LV) electrical stimulation, biomolecule delivery can be effectively enhanced through reversible electroporation (EP). Clear pore formation in the cell membrane is observed due to LV (50 V) pulse electrical stimulation amplified by SWNTs. The cell morphology remains intact and high cell viability is retained. This modality of SWNT + LV pulses can effectively transfer both small molecules and macromolecules into cells through reversible EP. The results of animal studies also suggest that treatment with LV pulses alone cannot increase vascular permeability in tumors unless after the injection of SWNTs. The nanoparticles can cross the permeable vasculature, which enhances their accumulation in the tumor tissue. Therefore, in cancer treatment, both SWNT + LV pulse treatment followed by the injection of LIPO-DOX® and SWNT/DOX + LV pulse treatment can increase tumor inhibition and delay tumor growth. This novel treatment modality applied in a human cancer xenograft model can provide a safe and effective therapy using various nanomedicines in cancer treatment.Graphical abstract

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