3D Porous Chitosan-Alginate Scaffolds as an in Vitro Model for Evaluating Nanoparticle-Mediated Tumor Targeting and Gene Delivery to Prostate Cancer

Kui Wang, Forrest M. Kievit, Stephen J. Florczyk, Zachary R. Stephen, Miqin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cationic nanoparticles (NPs) for targeted gene delivery are conventionally evaluated using 2D in vitro cultures. However, this does not translate well to corresponding in vivo studies because of the marked difference in NP behavior in the presence of the tumor microenvironment. In this study, we investigated whether prostate cancer (PCa) cells cultured in three-dimensional (3D) chitosan-alginate (CA) porous scaffolds could model cationic NP-mediated gene targeted delivery to tumors in vitro. We assessed in vitro tumor cell proliferation, formation of tumor spheroids, and expression of marker genes that promote tumor malignancy in CA scaffolds. The efficacy of NP-targeted gene delivery was evaluated in PCa cells in 2D cultures, PCa tumor spheroids grown in CA scaffolds, and PCa tumors in a mouse TRAMP-C2 flank tumor model. PCa cells cultured in CA scaffolds grew into tumor spheroids and displayed characteristics of higher malignancy as compared to those in 2D cultures. Significantly, targeted gene delivery was only observed in cells cultured in CA scaffolds, whereas cells cultured on 2D plates showed no difference in gene delivery between targeted and nontarget control NPs. In vivo NP evaluation confirmed targeted gene delivery, indicating that only CA scaffolds correctly modeled NP-mediated targeted delivery in vivo. These findings suggest that CA scaffolds serve as a better in vitro platform than 2D cultures for evaluation of NP-mediated targeted gene delivery to PCa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3362-3372
Number of pages11
JournalBiomacromolecules
Volume16
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 12 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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