Macrophages with cellular backpacks for targeted drug delivery to the brain
Author(s)Klyachko, Natalia L; Polak, Roberta; Haney, Matthew J; Zhao, Yuling; Gomes Neto, Reginaldo J; Hill, Michael C; Kabanov, Alexander V; Cohen, Robert E; Rubner, Michael F; Batrakova, Elena V; ... Show more Show less
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© 2017 Most potent therapeutics are unable to cross the blood-brain barrier following systemic administration, which necessitates the development of unconventional, clinically applicable drug delivery systems. With the given challenges, biologically active vehicles are crucial to accomplishing this task. We now report a new method for drug delivery that utilizes living cells as vehicles for drug carriage across the blood brain barrier. Cellular backpacks, 7–10 μm diameter polymer patches of a few hundred nanometers in thickness, are a potentially interesting approach, because they can act as drug depots that travel with the cell-carrier, without being phagocytized. Backpacks loaded with a potent antioxidant, catalase, were attached to autologous macrophages and systemically administered into mice with brain inflammation. Using inflammatory response cells enabled targeted drug transport to the inflamed brain. Furthermore, catalase-loaded backpacks demonstrated potent therapeutic effects deactivating free radicals released by activated microglia in vitro. This approach for drug carriage and release can accelerate the development of new drug formulations for all the neurodegenerative disorders.