ACS nano

Mesenchymal Stem Cells Aggregate and Deliver Gold Nanoparticles to Tumors for Photothermal Therapy.

PMID 26348606


Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been extensively studied for photothermal cancer therapy because AuNPs can generate heat upon near-infrared irradiation. However, improving their tumor-targeting efficiency and optimizing the nanoparticle size for maximizing the photothermal effect remain challenging. We demonstrate that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can aggregate pH-sensitive gold nanoparticles (PSAuNPs) in mildly acidic endosomes, target tumors, and be used for photothermal therapy. These aggregated structures had a higher cellular retention in comparison to pH-insensitive, control AuNPs (cAuNPs), which is important for the cell-based delivery process. PSAuNP-laden MSCs (MSC-PSAuNPs) injected intravenously to tumor-bearing mice show a 37-fold higher tumor-targeting efficiency (5.6% of the injected dose) and 8.3 °C higher heat generation compared to injections of cAuNPs after irradiation, which results in a significantly enhanced anticancer effect.