The development of theranostic nanocarriers as an innovative therapy against cancer has been improved by targeting properties in order to optimize the drug delivery to safely achieve its desired therapeutic effect. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the magnetic targeting (MT) efficiency of ultra-magnetic liposomes (UML) into CT26 murine colon tumor by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI was applied to assess the bloodstream circulation time. A novel semi-quantitative method called %I0.25, based on the intensity distribution in T2*-weighted MRI images was developed to compare the accumulation of T2 contrast agent in tumors with or without MT. To evaluate the efficiency of magnetic targeting, the percentage of pixels under the intensity value I0.25 (I0.25 = 0.25(Imax − Imin)) was calculated on the intensity distribution histogram.
This innovative method of processing MRI images showed the MT efficiency by a %I0.25 that was significantly higher in tumors using MT compared to passive accumulation, from 15.3 to 28.6 %. This methodology was validated by ex vivo methods with an iron concentration that is 3-fold higher in tumors using MT.
We have developed a method that allows a semi-quantitative evaluation of targeting efficiency in tumors, which could be applied to different T2 contrast agents.
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This work was supported by the LabEx MiChem part of French state funds managed by the ANR within Le Programme Investissements d’Avenir under reference ANR-11-IDEX-0004-02. In vivo imaging was performed at the Life Imaging Facility of Paris Descartes University (LIOPA from the Plateform Imageries du Vivant – PIV) and partly supported by CNRS and ENSCP, ANR LightLab program.
We are grateful to Institut Français Weizmann for a postdoctoral grant (GR), Emmanuel Aubry from ALIPP6 for ICP analysis, Claire Wilhelm for magnetophoresis experiments, Cellular Imaging facility Imagic of Institut Cochin for confocal microscopy, and to Jean-Michel Guigner for CryoTEM.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Thébault, C.J., Ramniceanu, G., Michel, A. et al. In Vivo Evaluation of Magnetic Targeting in Mice Colon Tumors with Ultra-Magnetic Liposomes Monitored by MRI. Mol Imaging Biol 21, 269–278 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11307-018-1238-3
- Magnetic targeting
- Magnetic nanoparticle
- Image analysis method