Drug Discov Ther. 2023;17(2):104-113. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2022.01118)

Targeting cellular gaps using Janus nanoparticles containing cationic polymers and surfactant lipids

Matsumoto A, Kitazawa T, Hatori Y, Nakanishi H, Watanabe C, Takashima T, Murakami M


Since nanoparticles are taken up into cells by endocytosis, phagocytosis, or pinocytosis, they have been studied as intracellular drug carriers. Janus particles have an anisotropic structure composed of two or more distinct domains and have been proposed for use in various applications, including use as imaging agents or nanosensors. This study aimed to clarify the influence of the type of nanoparticles on their distribution in a human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma (Caco- 2) cell monolayer. We fabricated Janus and conventional spherical nanoparticles composed of pharmaceutically applicable ingredients. Janus and spherical nanoparticles composed of a cationic polymer and surfactant lipids were prepared by controlling the solvent removal pattern from the oil phase in the solvent removal process using the solvent evaporation and solvent diffusion methods. The distribution of nanoparticles in the Caco-2 cell monolayer was then evaluated using confocal laser microscopy. The mean hydrodynamic size of the fabricated Janus nanoparticles was 119.2 ± 4.6 nm. Distribution analysis using Caco-2 cells suggested that Janus nanoparticles were localized around the adherens junctions located just below the tight junction. Clear localization was not observed in non-Janus nanoparticles with the same composition. The clear localization of the Janus nanoparticles around the adherens junction may be due to their positive charge and asymmetric structure. Our results suggest the considerable potential for the development of nanoparticulate drug carriers to target cellular gaps.

KEYWORDS: human Caucasian colon adenocarcinoma (Caco-2) cell, adherens junction, cationic polymer, surfactant lipids, cellular uptake

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