Erythrocyte-Membrane-Enveloped Perfluorocarbon as Nanoscale Artificial Red Blood Cells to Relieve Tumor Hypoxia and Enhance Cancer Radiotherapy
Min Gao, Chao Liang, Xuejiao Song, Qian Chen, Qiutong Jin, Chao Wang, and Zhuang Liu*
Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials & Devices, Soochow University, Jiangsu 215123, China
Hypoxia, a common feature within many types of solid tumors, is known to be closely associated with limited efficacy for cancer therapies, including radiotherapy (RT) in which oxygen is essential to promote radiation-induced cell damage. Here, an artificial nanoscale red-blood-cell system is designed by encapsulating perfluorocarbon (PFC), a commonly used artificial blood substitute, within biocompatible poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), obtaining PFC@PLGA nanoparticles, which are further coated with a redblood-cell membrane (RBCM). The developed PFC@PLGA-RBCM nanoparticles with the PFC core show rather efficient loading of oxygen, as well as greatly prolonged blood circulation time owing to the coating of RBCM. With significantly improved extravascular diffusion within the tumor mass, owing to their much smaller nanoscale sizes compared to native RBCs with micrometer sizes, PFC@PLGA-RBCM nanoparticles are able to effectively deliver oxygen into tumors after intravenous injection, leading to greatly relieved tumor hypoxia and thus remarkably enhanced treatment efficacy during RT. This work thus presents a unique type of nanoscale RBC mimic for efficient oxygen delivery into solid tumors, favorable for cancer treatment by RT, and potentially other types of therapy as well.