A novel multimodal nanoplatform for targeting tumor necrosis

Xiangjun Han, Oleh Taratula, Anna St Lorenz, Abraham S. Moses, Hassan A. Albarqi, Younes Jahangiri, Qirun Wu, Ke Xu, Olena Taratula, Khashayar Farsad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peri-necrotic tumor regions have been found to be a source of cancer stem cells (CSC), important in tumor recurrence. Necrotic and peri-necrotic tumor zones have poor vascular supply, limiting effective exposure to systemically administered therapeutics. Therefore, there is a critical need to develop agents that can effectively target these relatively protected tumor areas. We have developed a multi-property nanoplatform with necrosis avidity, fluorescence imaging and X-ray tracking capabilities to evaluate its feasibility for therapeutic drug delivery. The developed nanoparticle consists of three elements: poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(ε-caprolactone) as the biodegradable carrier; hypericin as a natural compound with fluorescence and necrosis avidity; and gold nanoparticles for X-ray tracking. This reproducible nanoparticle has a hydrodynamic size of 103.9 ± 1.7 nm with a uniform spherical morphology (polydispersity index = 0.12). The nanoparticle shows safety with systemic administration and a stable 30 day profile. Intravenous nanoparticle injection into a subcutaneous tumor-bearing mouse and intra-arterial nanoparticle injection into rabbits bearing VX2 orthotopic liver tumors resulted in fluorescence and X-ray attenuation within the tumors. In addition,ex vivoand histological analysis confirmed the accumulation of hypericin and gold in areas of necrosis and peri-necrosis. This nanoplatform, therefore, has the potential to enhance putative therapeutic drug delivery to necrotic and peri-necrotic areas, and may also have an application for monitoring early response to anti-tumor therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29486-29497
Number of pages12
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number47
StatePublished - Aug 23 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'A novel multimodal nanoplatform for targeting tumor necrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this