Conventional cancer treatment strategies are toxic to normal cells and lead to severe adverse effects for patients with cancer. To avoid exposure of chemotherapeutic agents to healthy tissue, controlled delivery of drugs targeting only tumor tissue would have significant clinical value. Research efforts in developing nanotechnology-based delivery systems can provide significant cancer treatment options; however, the choice of materials is crucial for their efficacy and safety.
Dendritic cells present antigens to T-cells for immune responses to the antigens. Nanomedical technology geared to facilitate dendritic cells to elicit efficient immune responses against cancer cells is showing promise. A particular type of nanomaterial, plasmonic nano vectors (PNVs) has recently been studied for their potential to serve as carriers for dendritic cell tumor vaccines. A group of scientists developed a nanomaterial based on plasmonically active silver-coated nanorods and determined their utility as dendritic cell delivery vectors. A plasmon in this context is an excitation of a conductive electron gas in a metal, and plasmonic activity allows for their multimodal spectroscopic detection in biological systems.
First, the researchers assessed whether PNVs could be taken up by dendritic cells of a mice cell line. They were exposed to different concentrations of PNVs for 24 hours or left unexposed. Using Raman spectroscopy and laser scanning photoacoustic microscopy, the signal intensities from the PNV-exposed dendritic cells were much higher than those of the controls, suggesting dendritic-cell uptake of the PNVs. Culturing of the dendritic cells with PNVs for 24 hours did not affect dendritic cell viability regardless of PNV concentration used.
Via transmission electron microscopy, it was shown that the PNVs localized within dendritic cell endosomes. Furthermore, PNV-treated dendritic cells showed increased expression of various markers of dendritic cell maturation including CD40, CD80, CD86, and MHC classes I and II. Overall, the study showed that PNVs can be taken up by dendritic cells, are non-toxic to the cells, and can induce dendritic cell maturity. This new information demonstrates the possibility of the use of PNVs as carriers for dendritic cell−targeted cancer vaccines.
At HemaCare, we are proud to work with researchers making groundbreaking discoveries with their cancer research. We offer top notch, customizable dendritic cells and more. Contact us today at 877-397-3087 with any questions.
Vang, K., Safina, I., Darrigues, E., Nedosekin, D., Nima, Z., & Majeed, W. et al. (2017). Modifying Dendritic Cell Activation with Plasmonic Nano Vectors. Scientific Reports, 7(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-017-04459-1