There is much interest in utilizing the intrinsic properties of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) for the theranostic approaches in medicine. With an aim to develop a potential therapeutics for glioma treatment, efficacy of aqueous dispersible paclitaxel loaded MNPs (Pac-MNPs) were studied in glioblastoma cell line (U-87). The identified potential receptor, glycoprotein non-metastatic melanoma protein B (GPNMB) overexpressed by glioblastoma cells, was actively targeted using GPNMB conjugated Pac-MNPs in U-87 cells. As blood brain barrier (BBB) is the primary impediment in the treatment of glioblastoma, therefore, an attempt was taken to evaluate the biodistribution and brain uptake of Pac-MNPs in rats. The bioavailability of Pac-MNPs illustrated a prolonged blood circulation in vivo, which demonstrated the presence of significant amounts of drug in rat brain tissues as compared to native paclitaxel. Further, the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) study revealed significant accumulation of the Pac-MNPs in the brain tissues. Being an effective contrast enhancement agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at tissue levels, the MNPs devoid of any surfactant demonstrated enhanced contrast effect in liver and brain imaging. Hence, the significant prevalence of drugs in the rat brain tissues, in vitro targeting potentiality as well as the augmented contrast effect elicit the non-invasive assessment and theranostic applications of MNPs for brain tumor therapy.
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