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Drug delivery

pH (low) insertion peptides (pHLIPs) for delivery of gold nanoparticles to tumors  

pHLIPs could be used to target gold nanoparticles to tumors, which tend to have lower pH than normal tissue. pHLIPs are water-soluble polypeptides derived from the bacteriorhodopsin C helix. In mice with human cervical cancer tumors, intratumoral injection of pHLIP-conjugated gold nanoparticles led to a sixfold increase in gold accumulation in tumor tissues compared with injection of nonconjugated gold nanoparticles. Next steps include developing nanoparticle coatings that could further increase bioavailability and tumor targeting and reduce accumulation in off-target tissues.

SciBX 6(2); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.45
Published online Jan. 17, 2013

Patented; use of radionuclide-labeled pHLIPs as a diagnostic tool for imaging of acidic tissues licensed to General Electric Co.; other diagnostic applications and all therapeutic applications available for licensing

Yao, L. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online
Dec. 24, 2012;
Contact: Oleg A. Andreev, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, R.I.
Contact: Donald M. Engelman, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.