Modulation of the Microtubule Network for Optimization of Nanoparticle Dynamics for the Advancement of Cancer Nanomedicine




Bannister, Aaron
Dissanayake, Dushanthi
Kowalewski, Antonia
Cicon, Leah
Bromma, Kyle
Chithrani, Devika

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Nanoparticles (NPs) have shown promise in both radiotherapy and chemotherapy. NPs are mainly transported along cellular microtubules (MTs). Docetaxel (DTX) is a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug that can manipulate the cellular MT network to maximize its clinical benefit. However, the effect of DTX on NP behaviour has not yet been fully elucidated. We used gold NPs of diameters 15 and 50 nm at a concentration of 0.2 nM to investigate the size dependence of NP behaviour. Meanwhile, DTX concentrations of 0, 10 and 50 nM were used to uphold clinical relevance. Our study reveals that a concentration of 50 nM DTX increased NP uptake by ~50% and their retention by ~90% compared to cells treated with 0 and 10 nM DTX. Smaller NPs had a 20-fold higher uptake in cells treated with 50 nM DTX vs. 0 and 10 nM DTX. With the treatment of 50 nm DTX, the cells became more spherical in shape, and NPs were redistributed closer to the nucleus. A significant increase in NP uptake and retention along with their intracellular distribution closer to the nucleus with 50 nM DTX could be exploited to target a higher dose to the most important target, the nucleus in both radiotherapy and chemotherapy.



nanoparticles, docetaxel, microtubules, nanomedicine, cancer


Bannister, A., Dissanayake, D., Kowalewski, A., Cicon, L., Bromma, K., & Chithrani, D. B. (2020). Modulation of the microtubule network for optimization of nanoparticle dynamics for the advancement of cancer nanomedicine. Bioengineering, 7(2).