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Preparation and In Vitro Characterization of Multifunctional Nanoemulsions for Simultaneous MR Imaging and Targeted Drug Delivery

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Cancer therapy can significantly benefit from simultaneous imaging and targeted drug delivery. Using oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), we have formulated oil-in-water nanoemulsions for simultaneous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and site-specific drug delivery. The nanoemulsions, formulated with pine-nut oil that contains at least 20% GLA, consists of oil droplets stabilized with phosphatidylethanolamine conjugated to diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) that provides high affinity for specific metal ions, and the lipophilic core, which can encapsulate hydrophobic anticancer drugs. In the present case, the nanoemulsions are loaded with paclitaxel, a potent anticancer drug and also with gadolinium ions (Gd3+) to provide contrast enhancement in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The Gd3+ loaded nanoemulsions have a diameter of around 100 nm and are small enough to pass easily through the vasculature. These nanoemulsions have been shown to reduce magnetic relaxation times in vitro and also to deliver drug efficiently in tumor cells, thus demonstrating the multifunctionality of the system.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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