PLGA Based Nanoparticles for the Monocyte-Mediated Anti-Tumor Drug Delivery System

Paola Allavena, Alessandro Palmioli, Roberta Avigni, Marina Sironi, Barbara La Ferla, Akihiro Maeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Together with the development of new therapeutic agents, innovation in the delivery system of anti-tumor drugs is required to increase tumor-specificity and avoid unexpected toxicity. To achieve higher efficiency, we combined a live cell-mediated drug delivery system with nanotechnology, with the aim to prove that blood monocytes can be a cargo to deliver antitumor drugs encapsulated in Polymeric poly(D, L-lactide-co-glycolide) acid based nanoparticles (PLGA NPs). In this study, we have characterized how isolated purified monocytes efficiently internalize PLGA-NPs and have imaged in vivo their trafficking upon intravenous injection in tumor-bearing mice. Monocytes carrying PLGA-Cy7 NPs were able to reach the tumor site, with superior efficiency than free PLGA-Cy7 NPs, and the bio-distribution analysis confirmed that tumors were the most reached among peripheral tissues. We further demonstrate that monocytes carrying Doxorubicin encapsulated PLGA NPs (PLGA-Doxo) induced strong killing of co-cultured tumor cells. Our studies provide proof-of-concept evidence that monocytes can be exploited in approaches of live cell-mediated drug delivery systems for tumor therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-223
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomedical Nanotechnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Drug Carriers
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Mice
  • Monocytes
  • Nanoparticles
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer

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