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Remote Loading of (64)Cu(2+) into Liposomes without the Use of Ion Transport Enhancers

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Due to low ion permeability of lipid bilayers, it has been and still is common practice to use transporter molecules such as ionophores or lipophilic chelators to increase transmembrane diffusion rates and loading efficiencies of radionuclides into liposomes. Here, we report a novel and very simple method for loading the positron emitter (64)Cu(2+) into liposomes, which is important for in vivo positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. By this approach, copper is added to liposomes entrapping a chelator, which causes spontaneous diffusion of copper across the lipid bilayer where it is trapped. Using this method, we achieve highly efficient (64)Cu(2+) loading (>95%), high radionuclide retention (>95%), and favorable loading kinetics, excluding the use of transporter molecule additives. Therefore, clinically relevant activities of 200-400 MBq/patient can be loaded fast (60-75 min) and efficiently into preformed stealth liposomes avoiding subsequent purification steps. We investigate the molecular coordination of entrapped copper using X-ray absorption spectroscopy and demonstrate high adaptability of the loading method to pegylated, nonpegylated, gel- or fluid-like, cholesterol rich or cholesterol depleted, cationic, anionic, and zwitterionic lipid compositions. We demonstrate high in vivo stability of (64)Cu-liposomes in a large canine model observing a blood circulation half-life of 24 h and show a tumor accumulation of 6% ID/g in FaDu xenograft mice using PET imaging. With this work, it is demonstrated that copper ions are capable of crossing a lipid membrane unassisted. This method is highly valuable for characterizing the in vivo performance of liposome-based nanomedicine with great potential in diagnostic imaging applications.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftA C S Applied Materials and Interfaces
Vol/bind7
Udgave nummer41
Sider (fra-til)22796-806
Antal sider11
ISSN1944-8244
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 21 okt. 2015

ID: 46267723