News Release

Size-tunable PEG-grafted copolymers as a polymeric nanoruler for passive targeting muscle tissues

Drug Delivery through Blood-Muscle Barrier

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Innovation Center of NanoMedicine

31-May-2022, Kawasaki (Japan) --- Innovation Center of NanoMedicine (Center Directer: Prof. Kazunori Kataoka) has announced that Prof. Kanjiro Miyata's group published a paper about Muscle-targeted drug delivery which is a major challenge in nanomedicine. The extravasation of nanomedicines (or nanoparticles) from the bloodstream into muscle tissues is hindered by the continuous endothelium, the so-called blood-muscle barrier. This study aimed to evaluate the optimal size of macromolecular drugs for extravasation (or passive targeting) into muscle tissues. We constructed a size-tunable polymeric delivery platform as a polymeric nanoruler by grafting poly(ethylene glycol)s (PEGs) onto the poly(aspartic acid) (PAsp) backbone. A series of PEG-grafted copolymers (gPEGs) with a narrow size distribution between 11 and 32 nm in hydrodynamic diameter (DH) were prepared by changing the molecular weight of the PEGs. Biodistribution analyses revealed that accumulation amounts of gPEGs in the muscle tissues of normal mice tended to decrease above their size of ~15 nm (or ~11 nm for the heart). The gPEGs accumulated in the skeletal muscles of Duchenne musclar dystrophy model mice (mdx mice) at a 2–3-fold higher level than in the skeletal muscles of normal mice. At the same time, there was a reduced accumulation of gPEGs in the spleen and liver. Intravital confocal laser scanning microscopy and immunohistochemical analysis showed extravasation and locally enhanced accumulation of gPEGs in the skeletal muscle of mdx mice. This study outlined the pivotal role of macromolecular drug size in muscle-targeted drug delivery and demonstrated the enhanced permeability of 11–32 nm-sized macromolecular drugs in mdx mice.

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