Cetuximab-Conjugated Magnetic Poly(Lactic-co-Glycolic Acid) Nanoparticles for Dual-Targeted Delivery of Irinotecan in Glioma Treatment

Banendu Sunder Dash, Yu Jen Lu, Shu Hui Luo, Jyh Ping Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

2 Scopus citations


A glioma is the most common malignant primary brain tumor in adults and is categorized according to its growth potential and aggressiveness. Within gliomas, grade 4 glioblastoma remains one of the most lethal malignant solid tumors, with a median survival time less than 18 months. By encapsulating CPT-11 and oleic acid-coated magnetic nanoparticles (OMNPs) in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles, we first prepared PLGA@OMNP@CPT-11 nanoparticles in this study. After conjugating cetuximab (CET) with PLGA@OMNP@CPT-11, spherical PLGA@OMNP@CPT-11-CET nanoparticles with 250 nm diameter, 33% drug encapsulation efficiency, and 22% drug loading efficiency were prepared in a single emulsion/evaporation step. The nanoparticles were used for dual-targeted delivery of CPT-11 to U87 primary glioblastoma cells by actively targeting the overexpressed epidermal growth factor receptor on the surface of U87 cells, as well as by magnetic targeting. The physicochemical properties of nanoparticles were characterized in detail. CET-mediated targeting promotes intracellular uptake of nanoparticles by U87 cells, which can release four times more drug at pH 5 than at pH 7.4 to facilitate drug release in endosomes after intracellular uptake. The nanovehicle PLGA@OMNP-CET is cytocompatible and hemocompatible. After loading CPT-11, PLGA@OMNP@CPT-11-CET shows the highest cytotoxicity toward U87 compared with free CPT-11 and PLGA@OMNP@CPT-11 by providing the lowest drug concentration for half-maximal cell death (IC50) and the highest rate of cell apoptosis. In orthotopic brain tumor-bearing nude mice with U87 xenografts, intravenous injection of PLGA@OMNP@ CPT-11-CET followed by guidance with a magnetic field provided the best treatment efficacy with the lowest tumor-associated signal intensity from bioluminescence imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5526
Issue number16
StatePublished - 08 08 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • cancer therapy
  • cetuximab
  • drug delivery
  • irinotecan
  • magnetic nanoparticles
  • poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)


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