Improving nanoparticle diffusion through tumor collagen matrix by photo-thermal gold nanorods

Vahid Raeesi, Warren CW Chan

Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 12524-12530 | DOI: 10.1039/C5NR08463F 


Collagen (I) impairs the targeting of nanoparticles to tumor cells by obstructing their diffusion inside dense tumor interstitial matrix. This potentially makes large nanoparticles (>50 nm) reside near the tumor vessels and thereby compromises their functionality. Here we propose a strategy to locally improve nanoparticle transport inside collagen (I) component of the tumor tissue. We first used heat generating gold nanorods to alter collagen (I) matrix by local temperature elevation. We then explored this impact on the transport of 50 nm and 120 nm inorganic nanoparticles inside collagen (I). We demonstrated an increase in average diffusivity of 50 nm and 120 nm in the denatured collagen (I) by ∼14 and ∼21 fold, respectively, compared to intact untreated collagen (I) matrix. This study shows how nanoparticle-mediated hyperthermia inside tumor tissue can improve the transport of large nanoparticles through collagen (I) matrix. The ability to increase nanoparticles diffusion inside tumor stroma allows their targeting or other functionalities to take effect, thereby significantly improving cancer therapeutic or diagnostic outcome.