Centres Científics i Tecnològics UB



The Optical Microscopy facility at CCiTUB is used to validate nanoparticles as carriers for nucleic acids delivery in the treatment of various diseases

Benjamín Torrejón, technician of the Bellvitge Biology Laboratory (Advanced Optical Microscopy) at the CCiTUB, has collaborated with researchers from the Faculty of Pharmacy at UB, the Nephrology Department of Bellvitge University Hospital and from IDIBELL, in a study to validate nanoparticles as tools for the treatment of different diseases, published in the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics.

Lipid-based nanoparticles are a useful tool for nucleic acids delivery and have been considered a promising approach for the treatment of various diseases. However, the side effects of this type of treatment are a cause for concern, and some strategies have been mentioned to improve the selectivity of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs). The aim of this study was to test SLNs formulations incorporating lipid cholesterol-9-carboxynanoate (9CCN) as a signal for internalization to target antagomiR oligonucleotides within macrophages. Four SLNs were formulated, and those with an average diameter of 200 nm allowing antagomiR binding were selected for in vitro studies. Cell viability assays, transfection efficiency and cellular uptake in vitro in macrophages were performed using flow cytometry and confocal imaging, demonstrating that SLNs with 25 mg of 9CCN were the best formulation.

Subsequently, an antagomiR was used to study its distribution in different tissues in the in vivo model (mouse) of ApoE-/- atherosclerosis, after intravenous administration. Using this model, it was demonstrated that SLNs with the phagocytic signal 9CCN target macrophages and selectively release the antagomiR charge.

This study reflects the advancement in nanoparticles design for specific drug delivery through the use of specific targeting signals for certain cell types. This may pave the way for more effective therapies with fewer side effects for diseases involving macrophages participation, such as atherosclerosis.