Fucoidan-functionalized polysaccharide submicroparticles loaded with alteplase for efficient targeted thrombolytic therapy

Biomaterials. 2021 Oct:277:121102. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2021.121102. Epub 2021 Aug 30.


Intravenous administration of fibrinolytic drugs is the standard treatment of acute thrombotic diseases. However, current fibrinolytics exhibit limited clinical efficacy because of their short plasma half-lives and might trigger hemorrhagic transformations. Therefore, it is mandatory to develop innovative nanomedicine-based solutions for more efficient and safer thrombolysis with biocompatible and biodegradable thrombus-targeted nanocarrier. Herein, fucoidan-functionalized hydrogel polysaccharide submicroparticles with high biocompatibility are elaborated by the inverse miniemulsion/crosslinking method. They are loaded with the gold standard fibrinolytic - alteplase - to direct site-specific fibrinolysis due to nanomolar interactions between fucoidan and P-selectin overexpressed on activated platelets and endothelial cells in the thrombus area. The thrombus targeting properties of these particles are validated in a microfluidic assay containing recombinant P-selectin and activated platelets under arterial and venous blood shear rates as well as in vivo. The experiments on the murine model of acute thromboembolic ischemic stroke support this product's therapeutic efficacy, revealing a faster recanalization rate in the middle cerebral artery than with free alteplase, which reduces post-ischemic cerebral infarct lesions and blood-brain barrier permeability. Altogether, this proof-of-concept study demonstrates the potential of a biomaterial-based targeted nanomedicine for the precise treatment of acute thrombotic events, such as ischemic stroke.

Keywords: Drug delivery; Fucoidan; Nanomedicine; P-Selectin; Polysaccharides; Targeted thrombolysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endothelial Cells
  • Fibrinolysis
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Mice
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use
  • Stroke* / drug therapy
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator* / therapeutic use


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Polysaccharides
  • fucoidan
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator