Superparamagnetic PLGA-iron oxide microcapsules for dual-modality US/MR imaging and high intensity focused US breast cancer ablation
Organic/inorganic, hybrid, multifunctional, material-based platforms combine the merits of diverse functionalities of inorganic nanoparticles and the excellent biocompatibility of organic systems. In this work, superparamagnetic poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microcapsules (Fe3O4/PLGA) have been developed, as a proof-of-concept, for the application in ultrasound/magnetic resonance dual-modality biological imaging and enhancing the therapeutic efficiency of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) breast cancer surgery in vitro and in vivo. Hydrophobic Fe3O4 nanoparticles were successfully integrated into PLGA microcapsules by a typical double emulsion evaporation process. In this process, highly dispersed superparamagnetic Fe3O4/PLGA composite microcapsules with well-defined spherical morphology were obtained with an average diameter of 885.6 nm. The potential of these microcapsules as dual contrast agents for ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging were demonstrated in vitro and, also, preliminarily in vivo. Meanwhile, the prepared superparamagnetic composite microcapsules were administrated into rabbits bearing breast cancer model for the evaluation of the in vivo HIFU synergistic ablation efficiency caused by the introduction of such microcapsules. Our results showed that the employment of the composite microcapsules could efficiently enhance ultrasound imaging of cancer, and greatly enhance the HIFU ablation of breast cancer in rabbits. In addition, pathological examination was systematically performed to detect the structural changes of the target tissue caused by HIFU ablation. This finding demonstrated that successful introduction of these superparamagnetic microcapsules into HIFU cancer surgery provided an alternative strategy for the highly efficient imaging-guided non-invasive HIFU synergistic therapy of cancer.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 33, Issue 24, August 2012, Pages 5854–5864