Published in

MDPI, Cancers, 6(12), p. 1397, 2020

DOI: 10.3390/cancers12061397



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Tailored Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles to Target Breast Cancer Cells Including Cancer Stem-Like Cells

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Nanotechnology-based approaches hold substantial potential to avoid chemoresistance and minimize side effects. In this work, we have used biocompatible iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) called MF66 and functionalized with the antineoplastic drug doxorubicin (DOX) against MDA-MB-231 cells. Electrostatically functionalized MNPs showed effective uptake and DOX linked to MNPs was more efficiently retained inside the cells than free DOX, leading to cell inactivation by mitotic catastrophe, senescence and apoptosis. Both effects, uptake and cytotoxicity, were demonstrated by different assays and videomicroscopy techniques. Likewise, covalently functionalized MNPs using three different linkers—disulfide (DOX-S-S-Pyr, called MF66-S-S-DOX), imine (DOX-I-Mal, called MF66-I-DOX) or both (DOX-I-S-S-Pyr, called MF66-S-S-I-DOX)—were also analysed. The highest cell death was detected using a linker sensitive to both pH and reducing environment (DOX-I-S-S-Pyr). The greatest success of this study was to detect also their activity against breast cancer stem-like cells (CSC) from MDA-MB-231 and primary breast cancer cells derived from a patient with a similar genetic profile (triple-negative breast cancer). In summary, these nanoformulations are promising tools as therapeutic agent vehicles, due to their ability to produce efficient internalization, drug delivery, and cancer cell inactivation, even in cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) from patients.