Active targeting of nanoparticles to tumours can be achieved by conjugation with specific antibodies. Specific active targeting of the HER2 receptor is demonstrated in vitro and in vivo with a subcutaneous MCF-7 breast cancer mouse model with trastuzumab-functionalized gold nanoparticles. The number of attached antibodies per nanoparticle was precisely controlled in a way that each nanoparticle was conjugated with either exactly one or exactly two antibodies. As expected, in vitro we found a moderate increase in targeting efficiency of nanoparticles with two instead of just one antibody attached per nanoparticle. However, the in vivo data demonstrate that best effect is obtained for nanoparticles with only exactly one antibody. There is indication that this is based on a size-related effect. These results highlight the importance of precisely controlling the ligand density on the nanoparticle surface for optimizing active targeting, and that less antibodies can exhibit more effect.
- Journal Article