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Med Hypotheses. 2008;70(4):765-7. Epub 2007 Oct 1.

Magnetic lymphatic targeting drug delivery system using carbon nanotubes.

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Pancreatic Disease Institute, Department of Surgery, Huashan Hospital, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China.


By controlling size, nanoparticles can be effectively taken up into lymphatics. On this basis, various nanoparticles have been investigated for transporters of chemotherapeutic pharmaceuticals, but only a few were retained in the draining lymph node. Here, we present a technology using a magnetic carbon nanotubes (MNTs) delivery system, and it may be possible to facilitate the targeted delivery of drugs in the lymphatic tissue more effectively. Chemotherapeutic agents were incorporated into the pores of functionalized MNTs synthesized with a layer of magnetite nanoparticles on the inner surface of the nanotubes. To improve drug delivery to cancer cells in the lymph nodes, individualized MNTs were noncovalently functionalized by folic acid (FA). By using an externally placed magnet to guide the drug matrix to the regional targeted lymph nodes, the MNTs can be retained in the draining targeted lymph nodes for several days and continuously release chemotherapeutic drugs. Selective killing of tumor cells overexpressing the folate receptors (FRs) in the lymph nodes can be achieved, as FR is overexpressed across a broad spectrum of human tumors.

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