In vitro exploration of the synergistic effect of alternating magnetic field mediated thermo–chemotherapy with doxorubicin loaded dual pH- and thermo-responsive magnetic nanocomposite carriers†
Nanoparticle induced hyperthermia has been considered as a promising approach for cancer treatment for decades. The local heating ability and drug delivery potential highlight a diversified possibility in clinical application, therefore a variety of nanoparticles has been developed accordingly. However, currently, only a few of them are translated into the clinical stage indicating a ‘medically underexplored nanoparticles’ situation, which encourages their comprehensive biomedical exploration. This study presents a thorough biological evaluation of previous well-developed dual pH- and thermo-responsive magnetic doxorubicin-nanocarriers (MNC–DOX) in multiple cancer cell lines. The cytotoxicity of the nanocomposites has been determined by the MTT assay on primary cell lines. Histology and fluorescence microscopy imaging revealed the efficiency of cellular uptake of nanocarriers in different cell lines. The IC50 of MNC–DOX is significantly higher than that of free DOX without an alternating magnetic field (AMF), which implied the potential to lower the systemic cytotoxicity in clinical research. The concurrent thermo–chemotherapy generated by this platform has been successfully achieved under an AMF. Promising effective synergistic results have been demonstrated through in vitro study in multi-model cancer cell lines via both trypan blue exclusion and bioluminescence imaging methods. Furthermore, the two most used magnetic hyperthermia modalities, namely intracellular and extracellular treatments, have been compared on the same nanocarriers in all 3 cell lines, which showed that treatment after internalization is not required but preferable. These results lead to the conclusion that this dual responsive nanocarrier has extraordinary potential to serve as a novel broad-spectrum anticancer drug and worth pursuing for potential clinical applications.