Glucan particles for macrophage targeted delivery of nanoparticles

J Drug Deliv. 2012;2012:143524. doi: 10.1155/2012/143524. Epub 2011 Oct 13.


Glucan particles (GPs) are hollow, porous 2-4 μm microspheres derived from the cell walls of Baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). The 1,3-β-glucan outer shell provides for receptor-mediated uptake by phagocytic cells expressing β-glucan receptors. GPs have been used for macrophage-targeted delivery of soluble payloads (DNA, siRNA, protein, and small molecules) encapsulated inside the hollow GPs via core polyplex and layer-by-layer (LbL) synthetic strategies. In this communication, we report the incorporation of nanoparticles as cores inside GPs (GP-NP) or electrostatically bound to the surface of chemically derivatized GPs (NP-GP). GP nanoparticle formulations benefit from the drug encapsulation properties of NPs and the macrophage-targeting properties of GPs. GP nanoparticle formulations were synthesized using fluorescent anionic polystyrene nanoparticles allowing visualization and quantitation of NP binding and encapsulation. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) containing the chemotherapeutic doxorubicin (Dox) were bound to cationic GPs. Dox-MSN-GPs efficiently delivered Dox into GP phagocytic cells resulting in enhanced Dox-mediated growth arrest.