Multi-physics study of acoustofluidic delivery agents’ clustering behavior

Extracellular Vesicles

Acoustofluidicly manipulated microbubbles (MBs) and echogenic liposomes (ELIPs) have been suggested as drug delivery systems for the 'on demand' release of drug in target tissue. This requires a clear understanding of their behaviour during ultrasonication and after ultrasonication stops. The main focus of this study is to investigate the behaviour of MBs and ELIPs clusters after ultrasonication stops and the underlaying cause of cluster diffusion considering electrostatic repulsion, steric repulsion and Brownian motion. It also examines the capability of existing models used to predict MBs' attraction velocity due to secondary radiation force, on predicting ELIPs' attraction velocity. Tunable resistive pulse sensing (TRPS) and phase analysis light scattering (PALS) techniques were used to measure zeta potentials of the agents and the size distributions were measured using TRPS. The zeta potentials were found to be -2.43 mV and -0.62 mV for Definity™ MBs, and -3.62 mV and -2.35 mV for ELIPs using TRPS and PALS, respectively. Both agents were shown to have significant cluster formation at pressures as low as 6 kPa. Clusters of both agents were shown to diffuse as sonication stops at a rate that approximately equals the sum of the diffusion coefficients of the agents forming them. The de-clustering behaviours are due to Brownian motion as no sign of electrostatic repulsion was observed and particles movements were observed to be faster for smaller diameters. These findings are important to design and optimise effective drug delivery systems using acoustofluidically manipulated MBs and ELIPs.

View full article

Recent Publications

Cigarette smoke (CS) represents one of the most relevant environmental risk factors for several chronic pathologies. Tissue damage caused by CS exposure is mediated, at least in part, by oxidative stress induced by its toxic and pro-oxidant components. Evidence demonstrates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by various cell types exposed to CS extract (CSE) are characterized by altered biochemical cargo and gained pathological properties. In the present study, we evaluated the content of oxidized proteins and phospholipid fatty acid profiles of EVs released by human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells treated with CSE. This specific molecular characterization has hitherto not been performed. After confirmation that CSE reduces viability of BEAS-2B cells and elevates intracellular ROS levels, in a dose-dependent manner, we demonstrated that 24 h exposure at 1% CSE, a concentration that only slight modifies cell viability but increases ROS levels, was able to increase carbonylated protein levels in cells and released EVs. The release of oxidatively modified proteins via EVs might represent a mechanism used by cells to remove toxic proteins in order to avoid their intracellular overloading. Moreover, 1% CSE induced only few changes in the fatty acid asset in BEAS-2B cell membrane phospholipids, whereas several rearrangements were observed in EVs released by CSE-treated cells. The impact of changes in acyl chain composition of CSE-EVs accounted for the increased saturation levels of phospholipids, a membrane parameter that might influence EV stability, uptake and, at least in part, EV-mediated biological effects. The present in vitro study adds new information concerning the biochemical composition of CSE-related EVs, useful to predict their biological effects on target cells. Furthermore, the information regarding the presence of oxidized proteins and the specific membrane features of CSE-related EVs can be useful to define the utilization of circulating EVs as marker for diagnosing of CS-induced lung damage and/or CS-related diseases.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.