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Folate-targeted cationic magnetoliposomes (FTMLs) have been prepared with coencapsulated doxorubicin (DOX) and anionic superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles (NPs) with 5 nm γ-Fe2O3 cores and 16 nm hydrodynamic diameters. NP encapsulation (89%) was confirmed by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the presence of the oppositely charged NPs did not cause liposome aggregation. The FTMLs had an average diameter of 174 ± 53 nm and existed as unilamellar and cup-shaped liposomes, which was attributed to dissimilar lipid packing parameters and the presence of PEG-lipids. A 3-fold increase in DOX release was achieved over 2 hours when the encapsulated SPIO NPs were heated by an alternating current electromagnetic field operating at radio frequencies (RF). Results with human cervical cancer cells (HeLa), which have been shown to exhibit high folate receptor (FR) expression, confirmed FTML surface binding and cellular uptake. In contrast, no uptake was observed for lower FR-expressing human breast carcinoma cells (ZR-75-1).

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Geoffrey D. Bothun and Yanjing Chen are from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Kyle Scully and Matthew A. Stoner are from the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Alline Lelis has a dual appointment with Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences.