Transient fluid flow improves photoimmunoconjugate delivery and photoimmunotherapy efficacy

Published in: iScience

Authors: Aaron J. Sorrin, Keri Zhou, Katherine May, Cindy Liu, Kathryn McNaughton, Idrisa Rahman, Barry J. Liang, Imran Rizvi, Dana M. Roque, Huang-Chiao Huang


The study showed that fluid flow induced shear stress increased the photocytotoxicity of different photosensitizers tested (BPD, PIC, PIC-coated liposome) against ovarian cancer cells. The cellular delivery of photosensitizers doubled compared to static conditions. Modulight laser was used for PDT activation together with photosensitizer(s).

Circulating drugs in the peritoneal cavity is an effective strategy for advanced ovarian cancer treatment. Photoimmunotherapy, an emerging modality with potential for the treatment of ovarian cancer, involves near-infrared light activation of antibody-photosensitizer conjugates (photoimmunoconjugates) to generate cytotoxic reactive oxygen species. Here, a microfluidic cell culture model is used to study how fluid flow-induced shear stress affects photoimmunoconjugate delivery to ovarian cancer cells. Photoimmunoconjugates are composed of the antibody, cetuximab, conjugated to the photosensitizer, and benzoporphyrin derivative. Longitudinal tracking of photoimmunoconjugate treatment under flow conditions reveals enhancements in subcellular photosensitizer accumulation. Compared to static conditions, fluid flow-induced shear stress at 0.5 and 1 dyn/cm2 doubled the cellular delivery of photoimmunoconjugates. Fluid flow-mediated treatment with three different photosensitizer formulations (benzoporphyrin derivative, photoimmunoconjugates, and photoimmunoconjugate-coated liposomes) led to enhanced phototoxicity compared to static conditions. This study confirms the fundamental role of fluid flow-induced shear stress in the anti-cancer effects of photoimmunotherapy.


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