Metal-shell nanocapsules for the delivery of cancer drugs

James Hitchcock, Alison L. White, Nicole Hondow, Thomas A. Hughes, Hanae Dupont, Simon Biggs, Olivier J. Cayre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)


Cytotoxic drugs tend to have substantial side effects on healthy tissues leading to systemic toxicity, limited tolerated doses and reduced drug efficacy. A prominent research area focuses on encapsulating cytotoxic drugs for targeted delivery to cancer tissues. However, existing carriers suffer from low drug loading levels and high drug leaching both when circulating systemically and when accumulating in non-target organs. These challenges mean that only few encapsulation technologies for delivery of cytotoxic drugs have been adopted for clinical use. Recently, we have demonstrated efficient manufacture of impermeable metal-shell/liquid core microcapsules that permit localised delivery by triggering release with ultrasound. This method has the potential to improve on existing methods for localised drug delivery because it: • Encapsulates high concentrations of low molecular weight hydrophobic drugs; • Prevents leaching in non-target areas resulting in the possibility of drastically amplifying the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect; • Allows triggered release via ultrasound to deliver high drug doses locally.We demonstrate here the further miniaturization of both the emulsion droplet template and the thickness of the surrounding metal shell to the nanoscale in an attempt to take advantage of the EPR effect and the excretion of nanoparticles by the hepatobiliary system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


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