Poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers are branched water-soluble polymers defined by consecutive generation numbers (Gn) indicating a parallel increase in size, molecular weight, and number of surface groups available for conjugation of bioactive agents. In this article, we compare the biodistribution of N-acetylgalactosamine (NAcGal)-targeted [14C]1-G5-(NH2)5-(Ac)108-(NAcGal)14 particles to non-targeted [14C]1-G5-(NH2)127 and PEGylated [14C]1-G5-(NH2)44-(Ac)73-(PEG)10 particles in a mouse hepatic cancer model. Results show that both NAcGal-targeted and non-targeted particles are rapidly cleared from the systemic circulation with high distribution to the liver. However, NAcGal-targeted particles exhibited 2.5-fold higher accumulation in tumor tissue compared to non-targeted ones. In comparison, PEGylated particles showed a 16-fold increase in plasma residence time and a 5-fold reduction in liver accumulation. These results motivated us to engineer new PEGylated G5 particles with PEG chains anchored to the G5 surface via acid-labile cis-aconityl linkages where the free PEG tips are functionalized with NAcGal or SP94 peptide to investigate their potential as targeting ligands for hepatic cancer cells as a function of sugar conformation (α versus β), ligand concentration (100-4000 nM), and incubation time (2 and 24 hours) compared to fluorescently (Fl)-labeled and non-targeted G5-(Fl)6-(NH2)122 and G5-(Fl)6-(Ac)107-(cPEG)15 particles. Results show G5-(Fl)6-(Ac)107-(cPEG[NAcGalβ])14 particles achieve faster uptake and higher intracellular concentrations in HepG2 cancer cells compared to other G5 particles while escaping the non-specific adsorption of serum protein and phagocytosis by Kupffer cells, which make these particles the ideal carrier for selective drug delivery into hepatic cancer cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Pharmaceutical Science