Intercellular transfer of nano and micro-particles in endothelial cells

Silvia Ferrati1, Aaron C. Mack1, Natalie Sirisaengtaksin2, Jeff Schmulen1, Huw Summers3, Paul Rees3, Xuewu Liu1, Andrew J. Bean2,4, Mauro Ferrari1, Rita E. Serda1.

1Department of Nanomedicine, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, TX 77030, US; 2Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX, US; 3Department of Nanotechnology for Health, College of Engineering, Swansea University, UK; 4Department of Pediatrics, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, US

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Summary
Overcoming the endothelial barrier is an essential step for intravenously injected carrier-mediated therapeutics to reach tumor cells. While micro-vascular endothelial cells are known to be able to internalize particles, the long-term fate of these carriers is still under investigation. In our study we present evidence of the secretion of nano and microparticles from endothelial cells and their subsequent cell-to-cell transfer. We propose that this mechanism could be exploited by drug carriers for crossing the endothelial barrier and redistributing within the tumor microenvironment.

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