Polycation fluorination improves intraperitoneal siRNA delivery in metastatic pancreatic cancer

Yu Hang, Siyuan Tang, Weimin Tang, David Větvička, Chuhan Zhang, Ying Xie, Fei Yu, Ao Yu, Diptesh Sil, Jing Li, Rakesh K. Singh, David Oupický

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a growing medical problem associated with extensive metastasis and high mortality. Intraperitoneal (IP) administration of therapeutics promises to help the treatment of cancers originated from organs in the peritoneal cavity. In this study, we evaluated how physicochemical properties of self-assembled polycation/siRNA nanoparticles affect their IP delivery efficacy in an orthotopic PDAC model. We have examined the effect of covalent polycation modification with lipophobic and hydrophobic tetrafluoro-p-toluic acid (TFTA), hydrophobic cholesterol, and hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) respectively. The surface charge of the three different nanoparticles was also modulated by coating the surface with serum albumin. We found that positively charged fluorine-containing particles with lipophobic properties based on a mixture of positively charged polymeric AMD3100 CXCR4 antagonist (PAMD) and PAMD modified with TFTA (mPAMD-TFTA)/siRNA displayed the best cell uptake and transfection efficacy in vitro. Biodistribution evaluation of the nanoparticles in a syngeneic orthotopic PDAC model revealed that the fluorine-containing formulation also achieved the highest PDAC tumor accumulation after IP administration. With a combination of CXCR4 inhibition by PAMD and PLK1 downregulation by siRNA, the treatment with mPAMD-TFTA/siPLK1 showed significant inhibition of both primary and metastatic PDAC tumors. Overall, our study provides insights into and guides the design of the nanoparticles for improved IP delivery of siRNA in PDAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-150
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - May 10 2021


  • CXCR4 antagonism
  • Intraperitoneal administration
  • PLK1
  • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • Polyplexes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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