Our latest research results just got published as article in Polymers.
Congratulations to all members of our group and the Epe group in Mainz who did the hard work!
The paper describes the preparation of folic acid-functionalized dextran nanoparticles for the targeted delivery of drugs with the aim to improve photodynamic therapy of cancer.

“Receptor-mediated Uptake of Folic Acid-functionalized Dextran Nanoparticles for Applications in Photodynamic Therapy” K. Butzbach, M. Konhäuser, M. Fach, D. N. Bamberger, B. Breitenbach, B. Epe and P. R. Wich
Polymers, 2019, 11, 896. (DOI: 10.3390/polym11050896)


In photodynamic therapy (PDT), photosensitizers and light are used to cause photochemically induced cell death. The selectivity and the effectiveness of the phototoxicity in cancer can be increased by a specific uptake of the photosensitizer into tumor cells. A promising target for this goal is the folic acid receptor α (FRα), which is overexpressed on the surface of many tumor cells and mediates an endocytotic uptake. Here, we describe a polysaccharide-based nanoparticle system suitable for targeted uptake and its photochemical and photobiological characterization. The photosensitizer 5, 10, 15, 20-tetraphenyl-21H, 23H-porphyrine (TPP) was encapsulated in spermine- and acetal-modified dextran (SpAcDex) nanoparticles and conjugated with folic acid (FA) on the surface [SpAcDex(TPP)-FA]. The particles are successfully taken up by human HeLa-KB cells, and a light-induced cytotoxicity is observable. An excess of free folate as the competitor for the FRα-mediated uptake inhibits the phototoxicity. In conclusion, folate-modified SpAcDex particles are a promising drug delivery system for a tumor cell-targeted photodynamic therapy.


Receptor-mediated Uptake of Folic Acid-functionalized Dextran Nanoparticles for Applications in Photodynamic Therapy





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