Layer-by-layer nanoparticles for systemic codelivery of an anticancer drug and siRNA for potential triple-negative breast cancer treatment

ACS Nano. 2013 Nov 26;7(11):9571-84. doi: 10.1021/nn4047925. Epub 2013 Oct 21.


A single nanoparticle platform has been developed through the modular and controlled layer-by-layer process to codeliver siRNA that knocks down a drug-resistance pathway in tumor cells and a chemotherapy drug to challenge a highly aggressive form of triple-negative breast cancer. Layer-by-layer films were formed on nanoparticles by alternately depositing siRNA and poly-l-arginine; a single bilayer on the nanoparticle surface could effectively load up to 3500 siRNA molecules, and the resulting LbL nanoparticles exhibit an extended serum half-life of 28 h. In animal models, one dose via intravenous administration significantly reduced the target gene expression in the tumors by almost 80%. By generating the siRNA-loaded film atop a doxorubicin-loaded liposome, we identified an effective combination therapy with siRNA targeting multidrug resistance protein 1, which significantly enhanced doxorubicin efficacy by 4 fold in vitro and led to up to an 8-fold decrease in tumor volume compared to the control treatments with no observed toxicity. The results indicate that the use of layer-by-layer films to modify a simple liposomal doxorubicin delivery construct with a synergistic siRNA can lead to significant tumor reduction in the cancers that are otherwise nonresponsive to treatment with Doxil or other common chemotherapy drugs. This approach provides a potential strategy to treat aggressive and resistant cancers, and a modular platform for a broad range of controlled multidrug therapies customizable to the cancer type in a singular nanoparticle delivery system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biopolymers / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Drug Carriers
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liposomes / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Nanomedicine / methods*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism*
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / genetics


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biopolymers
  • Drug Carriers
  • Liposomes
  • RNA, Small Interfering