Biomimetic targeted theranostic nanoparticles for breast cancer treatment

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



The development of biomimetic drug delivery systems for biomedical applications has attracted significant research attention. As the use of cell membrane as a surface coating has shown to be a promising platform for several disease treatments. Cell-membrane-coated nanoparticles exhibit enhanced immunocompatibility and prolonged circulation time. Herein, human red blood cell (RBC) membrane-cloaked nanoparticles with enhanced targeting functionality were designed as a targeted nanotheranostic against cancer. Naturally, derived human RBC membrane modified with targeting ligands coated onto polymeric nanoparticle cores containing both chemotherapy and imaging agent. Using epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM)-positive MCF-7 breast cancer cells as a disease model, the nature-inspired targeted theranostic human red blood cell membrane-coated polymeric nanoparticles (TT-RBC-NPs) platform was capable of not only specifically binding to targeted cancer cells, effectively delivering doxorubicin (DOX), but also visualizing the targeted cancer cells. The TT-RBC-NPs achieved an extended-release profile, with the majority of the drug release occurring within 5 days. The TT-RBC-NPs enabled enhanced cytotoxic efficacy against EpCAM positive MCF-7 breast cancer over the non-targeted NPs. Additionally, fluorescence images of the targeted cancer cells incubated with the TT-RBC-NPs visually indicated the increased cellular uptake of TT-RBC-NPs inside the breast cancer cells. Taken together, this TT-RBC-NP platform sets the foundation for the next-generation stealth theranostic platforms for systemic cargo delivery for treatment and diagnostic of cancer.