Recent Submissions

  • Combining MucilAir™ and Vitrocell Powder Chamber for the In Vitro Evaluation of Nasal Ointments in the Context of Aerosolized Pollen.

    Metz, Julia; Knoth, Katharina; Groß, Henrik; Lehr, Claus-Michael; Stäbler, Carolin; Bock, Udo; Hittinger, Marius; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institute für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-05-10)
    Hay fever is notoriously triggered when nasal mucosa is exposed to allergenic pollen. One possibility to overcome this pollen exposure may be the application of an ointment with physical protective effects. In this context, we have investigated Bepanthen Eye and Nose Ointment and the ointment basis petrolatum as reference while using contemporary in vitro techniques. Pollen from false ragweed () was used as an allergy-causing model deposited as aerosol using the Vitrocell Powder Chamber (VPC) on Transwell inserts, while being coated with either Bepanthen Eye and Nose Ointment and petrolatum. No pollen penetration into ointments was observed upon confocal scanning laser microscopy during an incubation period of 2 h at 37 °C. The cellular response was further investigated by integrating the MucilAir™ cell system in the VPC and by applying pollen to Bepanthen Eye and Nose Ointment covered cell cultures. For comparison, MucilAir™ were stimulated by lipopolysaccharides (LPS). No increased cytokine release of IL-6, TNF-α, or IL-8 was found after 4 h of pollen exposure, which demonstrates the safety of such ointments. Since nasal ointments act as a physical barrier against pollen, such preparations might support the prevention and management of hay fever.
  • Engineering Extracellular Vesicles with the Tools of Enzyme Prodrug Therapy.

    Fuhrmann, Gregor; Chandrawati, Rona; Parmar, Paresh A; Keane, Timothy J; Maynard, Stephanie A; Bertazzo, Sergio; Stevens, Molly M; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institute für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-02-23)
    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have recently gained significant attention as important mediators of intercellular communication, potential drug carriers, and disease biomarkers. These natural cell-derived nanoparticles are postulated to be biocompatible, stable under physiological conditions, and to show reduced immunogenicity as compared to other synthetic nanoparticles. Although initial clinical trials are ongoing, the use of EVs for therapeutic applications may be limited due to undesired off-target activity and potential "dilution effects" upon systemic administration which may affect their ability to reach their target tissues. To fully exploit their therapeutic potential, EVs are embedded into implantable biomaterials designed to achieve local delivery of therapeutics taking advantage of enzyme prodrug therapy (EPT). In this first application of EVs for an EPT approach, EVs are used as smart carriers for stabilizing enzymes in a hydrogel for local controlled conversion of benign prodrugs to active antiinflammatory compounds. It is shown that the natural EVs' antiinflammatory potential is comparable or superior to synthetic carriers, in particular upon repeated long-term incubations and in different macrophage models of inflammation. Moreover, density-dependent color scanning electron microscopy imaging of EVs in a hydrogel is presented herein, an impactful tool for further understanding EVs in biological settings.
  • Starch-Chitosan Polyplexes: A Versatile Carrier System for Anti-Infectives and Gene Delivery

    Yasar, Hanzey; Ho, Duy-Khiet; De Rossi, Chiara; Herrmann, Jennifer; Gordon, Sarah; Loretz, Brigitta; Lehr, Claus-Michael; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus 8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-03-01)
  • A miRNA181a/NFAT5 axis links impaired T cell tolerance induction with autoimmune type 1 diabetes.

    Serr, Isabelle; Scherm, Martin G; Zahm, Adam M; Schug, Jonathan; Flynn, Victoria K; Hippich, Markus; Kälin, Stefanie; Becker, Maike; Achenbach, Peter; Nikolaev, Alexei; Gerlach, Katharina; Liebsch, Nicole; Loretz, Brigitta; Lehr, Claus Michael; Kirchner, Benedikt; Spornraft, Melanie; Haase, Bettina; Segars, James; Küper, Christoph; Palmisano, Ralf; Waisman, Ari; Willis, Richard A; Kim, Wan-Uk; Weigmann, Benno; Kaestner, Klaus H; Ziegler, Anette-Gabriele; Daniel, Carolin; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institute für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-01-03)
    Molecular checkpoints that trigger the onset of islet autoimmunity or progression to human type 1 diabetes (T1D) are incompletely understood. Using T cells from children at an early stage of islet autoimmunity without clinical T1D, we find that a microRNA181a (miRNA181a)-mediated increase in signal strength of stimulation and costimulation links nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 (NFAT5) with impaired tolerance induction and autoimmune activation. We show that enhancing miRNA181a activity increases NFAT5 expression while inhibiting FOXP3+regulatory T cell (Treg) induction in vitro. Accordingly, Treginduction is improved using T cells from NFAT5 knockout (NFAT5ko) animals, whereas altering miRNA181a activity does not affect Treginduction in NFAT5ko T cells. Moreover, high costimulatory signals result in phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-mediated NFAT5, which interferes with FoxP3+Treginduction. Blocking miRNA181a or NFAT5 increases Treginduction in murine and humanized models and reduces murine islet autoimmunity in vivo. These findings suggest targeting miRNA181a and/or NFAT5 signaling for the development of innovative personalized medicines to limit islet autoimmunity.
  • Calcifediol-loaded liposomes for local treatment of pulmonary bacterial infections.

    Castoldi, Arianna; Herr, Christian; Niederstraßer, Julia; Labouta, Hagar Ibrahim; Melero, Ana; Gordon, Sarah; Schneider-Daum, Nicole; Bals, Robert; Lehr, Claus Michael; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus 8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-09)
    The influence of vitamin D3 and its metabolites calcifediol (25(OH)D) and calcitriol on immune regulation and inflammation is well described, and raises the question of potential benefit against bacterial infections. In the current study, 25(OH)D was encapsulated in liposomes to enable aerosolisation, and tested for the ability to prevent pulmonary infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Prepared 25(OH)D-loaded liposomes were nanosized and monodisperse, with a negative surface charge and a 25(OH)D entrapment efficiency of approximately 23%. Jet nebulisation of liposomes was seen to yield an aerosol suitable for tracheo-bronchial deposition. Interestingly, 25(OH)D in either liposomes or ethanolic solution had no effect on the release of the proinflammatory cytokine KC from Pseudomonas-infected murine epithelial cells (LA-4); treatment of infected, human bronchial 16-HBE cells with 25(OH)D liposomes however resulted in a significant reduction in bacterial survival. Together with the importance of selecting an application-appropriate in vitro model, the current study illustrates the feasibility and practicality of employing liposomes as a means to achieve 25(OH)D lung deposition. 25(OH)D-loaded liposomes further demonstrated promising effects regarding prevention of Pseudomonas infection in human bronchial epithelial cells.
  • The bacterial cell envelope as delimiter of anti-infective bioavailability - An in vitro permeation model of the Gram-negative bacterial inner membrane.

    Graef, Florian; Vukosavljevic, Branko; Michel, Jean-Philippe; Wirth, Marius; Ries, Oliver; De Rossi, Chiara; Windbergs, Maike; Rosilio, Véronique; Ducho, Christian; Gordon, Sarah; Lehr, Claus Michael; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2016)
    Gram-negative bacteria possess a unique and complex cell envelope, composed of an inner and outer membrane separated by an intermediate cell wall-containing periplasm. This tripartite structure acts intrinsically as a significant biological barrier, often limiting the permeation of anti-infectives, and so preventing such drugs from reaching their target. Furthermore, identification of the specific permeation-limiting envelope component proves difficult in the case of many anti-infectives, due to the challenges associated with isolation of individual cell envelope structures in bacterial culture. The development of an in vitro permeation model of the Gram-negative inner membrane, prepared by repeated coating of physiologically-relevant phospholipids on Transwell®filter inserts, is therefore reported, as a first step in the development of an overall cell envelope model. Characterization and permeability investigations of model compounds as well as anti-infectives confirmed the suitability of the model for quantitative and kinetically-resolved permeability assessment, and additionally confirmed the importance of employing bacteria-specific base materials for more accurate mimicking of the inner membrane lipid composition - both advantages compared to the majority of existing in vitro approaches. Additional incorporation of further elements of the Gram-negative bacterial cell envelope could ultimately facilitate model application as a screening tool in anti-infective drug discovery or formulation development.
  • miRNA92a targets KLF2 and the phosphatase PTEN signaling to promote human T follicular helper precursors in T1D islet autoimmunity.

    Serr, Isabelle; Fürst, Rainer W; Ott, Verena B; Scherm, Martin G; Nikolaev, Alexei; Gökmen, Füsun; Kälin, Stefanie; Zillmer, Stephanie; Bunk, Melanie; Weigmann, Benno; Kunschke, Nicole; Loretz, Brigitta; Lehr, Claus Michael; Kirchner, Benedikt; Haase, Bettina; Pfaffl, Michael; Waisman, Ari; Willis, Richard A; Ziegler, Anette-G; Daniel, Carolin; Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2016)
    Aberrant immune activation mediated by T effector cell populations is pivotal in the onset of autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes (T1D). T follicular helper (TFH) cells are essential in the induction of high-affinity antibodies, and their precursor memory compartment circulates in the blood. The role of TFH precursors in the onset of islet autoimmunity and signaling pathways regulating their differentiation is incompletely understood. Here, we provide direct evidence that during onset of islet autoimmunity, the insulin-specific target T-cell population is enriched with a C-X-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CXCR5)+CD4+ TFH precursor phenotype. During onset of islet autoimmunity, the frequency of TFH precursors was controlled by high expression of microRNA92a (miRNA92a). miRNA92a-mediated TFH precursor induction was regulated by phosphatase and tension homolog (PTEN) - phosphoinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) signaling involving PTEN and forkhead box protein O1 (Foxo1), supporting autoantibody generation and triggering the onset of islet autoimmunity. Moreover, we identify Krueppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) as a target of miRNA92a in regulating human TFH precursor induction. Importantly, a miRNA92a antagomir completely blocked induction of human TFH precursors in vitro. More importantly, in vivo application of a miRNA92a antagomir to nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice with ongoing islet autoimmunity resulted in a significant reduction of TFH precursors in peripheral blood and pancreatic lymph nodes. Moreover, miRNA92a antagomir application reduced immune infiltration and activation in pancreata of NOD mice as well as humanized NOD Scid IL2 receptor gamma chain knockout (NSG) human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-DQ8 transgenic animals. We therefore propose that miRNA92a and the PTEN-PI3K-KLF2 signaling network could function as targets for innovative precision medicines to reduce T1D islet autoimmunity.
  • Redispersible spray-dried lipid-core nanocapsules intended for oral delivery: the influence of the particle number on redispersibility.

    Andrade, Diego Fontana de; Vukosavljevic, Branko; Benvenutti, Edilson Valmir; Pohlmann, Adriana Raffin; Guterres, Sílvia Stanisçuaski; Windbergs, Maike; Beck, Ruy Carlos Ruver; Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeitische Forschung Saarland, Universitäzscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-11-20)
    This study proposes a new approach to produce easily redispersible spray-dried lipid-core nanocapsules (LNC) intended for oral administration, evaluating the influence of the particle number density of the fed sample. The proposed approach to develop redispersible spray-dried LNC formulations intended for oral route is innovative, evidencing the needing of an optimization of the initial particle number density in the liquid suspension of nanocapsules. A mixture of maltodextrin and L-leucine (90:10 w/w) was used as drying adjuvant. Dynamic light scattering, turbidimetry, determination of surface area and pore size distribution, electron microscopy and confocal Raman microscopy (CRM) were used to characterize the proposed system and to better understand the differences in the redispersion behavior. An easily aqueous redispersion of the spray-dried powder composed of maltodextrin and L-leucine (90:10 w/w) was obtained, depending on the particle number density. Their surface area decreased in the presence of LNC. CRM enabled the visualization of the spatial distribution of the different compounds in the powders affording to better understand the influence of the particle number density of the fed sample on their redispersion behavior. This study shows the need for optimizing initial particle number density in the liquid formulation to develop redispersible spray-dried LNC powders.
  • Increased survival and proliferation of the epidemic strain Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. massiliense CRM0019 in alveolar epithelial cells.

    Ribeiro, Giovanni Monteiro; Matsumoto, Cristianne Kayoko; Real, Fernando; Teixeira, Daniela; Duarte, Rafael Silva; Mortara, Renato Arruda; Leão, Sylvia Cardoso; de Souza Carvalho-Wodarz, Cristiane; Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Universitycampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-09-13)
    Outbreaks of infections caused by rapidly growing mycobacteria have been reported worldwide generally associated with medical procedures. Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. massiliense CRM0019 was obtained during an epidemic of postsurgical infections and was characterized by increased persistence in vivo. To better understand the successful survival strategies of this microorganism, we evaluated its infectivity and proliferation in macrophages (RAW and BMDM) and alveolar epithelial cells (A549). For that, we assessed the following parameters, for both M. abscessus CRM0019 as well as the reference strain M. abscessus ATCC 19977: internalization, intracellular survival for up 3 days, competence to subvert lysosome fusion and the intracellular survival after cell reinfection.
  • Barriers and motivations for non-invasive drug delivery.

    Loretz, Brigitta; Schneider-Daum, Nicole; Windbergs, Maike; Schaefer, Ulrich; Schneider, Marc; Lehr, Claus Michael; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1,66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-09)
  • Nanoencapsulation of a glucocorticoid improves barrier function and anti-inflammatory effect on monolayers of pulmonary epithelial cell lines.

    Rigo, Lucas A; Carvalho-Wodarz, Cristiane S; Pohlmann, Adriana R; Guterres, Silvia S; Schneider-Daum, Nicole; Lehr, Claus Michael; Beck, Ruy C R; Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland [HIPS], Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-05-13)
    The anti-inflammatory effect of polymeric deflazacort nanocapsules (NC-DFZ) was investigated, and possible improvement of epithelial barrier function using filter grown monolayers of A549 and Calu-3 using as models was assessed. NC prepared from poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) had a mean size around 200 nm, slightly negative zeta potential (∼ - 8 mV), and low polydispersity index (< 0.10). Encapsulation of DFZ had an efficiency of 85%. No cytotoxic effects were observed at particle concentration of 9.85 x 10(11) NC/ml, which was therefore chosen to evaluate the effect of NC-DFZ at 1% (w/v) of PCL and 0.5% (w/v) of DFZ on the epithelial barrier function of Calu-3 monolayers. Nanoencapsulated drug at 0.5% (w/v) increased transepithelial electrical resistance and decrease permeability of the paracellular marker sodium fluorescein, while non-encapsulated DFZ failed to improve these parameters. Moreover, NC-DFZ reduced the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) mediated secretion of the inflammatory marker IL-8. In vitro dissolution testing revealed controlled release of DFZ from nanocapsules, which may explain the improved effect of DFZ on the cells. These data suggest that nanoencapsulation of pulmonary delivered corticosteroids could be advantageous for the treatment of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
  • Physiological, Biochemical, and Biophysical Characterization of the Lung-Lavaged Spontaneously-Breathing Rabbit as a Model for Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

    Ricci, Francesca; Catozzi, Chiara; Murgia, Xabier; Rosa, Brenda; Amidani, Davide; Lorenzini, Luca; Bianco, Federico; Rivetti, Claudio; Catinella, Silvia; Villetti, Gino; Civelli, Maurizio; Pioselli, Barbara; Dani, Carlo; Salomone, Fabrizio; Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017)
    Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) is a widely accepted technique of non-invasive respiratory support in spontaneously-breathing premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Surfactant administration techniques compatible with nCPAP ventilation strategy are actively investigated. Our aim is to set up and validate a respiratory distress animal model that can be managed on nCPAP suitable for surfactant administration techniques studies. Surfactant depletion was induced by bronchoalveolar lavages (BALs) on 18 adult rabbits. Full depletion was assessed by surfactant component analysis on the BALs samples. Animals were randomized into two groups: Control group (nCPAP only) and InSurE group, consisting of a bolus of surfactant (Poractant alfa, 200 mg/kg) followed by nCPAP. Arterial blood gases were monitored until animal sacrifice, 3 hours post treatment. Lung mechanics were evaluated just before and after BALs, at the time of treatment, and at the end of the procedure. Surfactant phospholipids and protein analysis as well as surface tension measurements on sequential BALs confirmed the efficacy of the surfactant depletion procedure. The InSurE group showed a significant improvement of blood oxygenation and lung mechanics. On the contrary, no signs of recovery were appreciated in animals treated with just nCPAP. The surfactant-depleted adult rabbit RDS model proved to be a valuable and efficient preclinical tool for mimicking the clinical scenario of preterm infants affected by mild/moderate RDS who spontaneously breathe and do not require mechanical ventilation. This population is of particular interest as potential target for the non-invasive administration of surfactant.
  • In vitro and in vivo comparison between poractant alfa and the new generation synthetic surfactant CHF5633.

    Ricci, Francesca; Murgia, Xabier; Razzetti, Roberta; Pelizzi, Nicola; Salomone, Fabrizio; Helmholtz Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-02)
    CHF5633 is a new generation synthetic surfactant containing both SP-B and SP-C analogues developed for the treatment of respiratory distress syndrome. Here, the optimal dose and its performance in comparison to the animal-derived surfactant poractant alfa were investigated.
  • Expression and Activity of Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP/ABCG2) in Human Distal Lung Epithelial Cells In Vitro.

    Nickel, Sabrina; Selo, Mohammed Ali; Fallack, Juliane; Clerkin, Caoimhe G; Huwer, Hanno; Schneider-Daum, Nicole; Lehr, Claus Michael; Ehrhardt, Carsten; Helmholtz Institut für Pharmaceutischr Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-05-03)
    Breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2) has previously been identified with high expression levels in human lung. The subcellular localisation and functional activity of the transporter in lung epithelia, however, remains poorly investigated. The aim of this project was to study BCRP expression and activity in freshly isolated human alveolar epithelial type 2 (AT2) and type 1-like (AT1-like) cells in primary culture, and to compare these findings with data obtained from the NCI-H441 cell line.
  • Ciprofloxacin-loaded PLGA nanoparticles against Cystic Fibrosis P. aeruginosa Lung Infections.

    Günday Türeli, Nazende; Torge, Afra; Juntke, Jenny; Schwarz, Bianca C; Schneider-Daum, Nicole; Türeli, Akif Emre; Lehr, Claus-Michael; Schneider, Marc; Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-05-02)
    Current pulmonary treatments against Pseudomonasaeruginosa infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) lung suffer from deactivation of the drug and immobilization in thick and viscous biofilm/mucus blend, along with the general antibiotic resistance. Administration of nanoparticles (NPs) with high antibiotic load capable of penetrating the tight mesh of biofilm/mucus can be an advent to overcome the treatment bottlenecks. Biodegradable and biocompatible polymer nanoparticles efficiently loaded with ciprofloxacin complex offer a solution for emerging treatment strategies. NPs were prepared under controlled conditions by utilizing MicroJet Reactor (MJR) to yield a particle size of 190.4±28.6 nm with 0.089 PDI. Encapsulation efficiency of the drug was 79% resulting in a loading of 14%. Release was determined to be controlled and medium-independent in PBS, PBS+0.2% Tween 80 and simulated lung fluid. Cytotoxicity assays with Calu3 cells and CF bronchial epithelial cells (CFBE41o(-)) indicated that complex loaded PLGA NPs were non-toxic at concentrations >MICcipro against lab strains of the bacteria. Antibacterial activity tests revealed enhanced activity when applied as nanoparticles. NPs' colloidal stability in mucus was proven. Notably, a decrease in mucus turbidity was observed upon incubation with NPs. Herewith, ciprofloxacin complex loaded PLGA NPs are introduced as promising pulmonary nano drug delivery systems against P.aeruginosa infections in CF lung.
  • Extracellular vesicles - A promising avenue for the detection and treatment of infectious diseases?

    Fuhrmann, Gregor; Neuer, Anna Lena; Herrmann, Inge K; Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-04-07)
    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have gained increasing attention as novel disease biomarkers and as promising therapeutic agents. These cell-derived, phospholipid-based particles are present in many - if not all - physiological fluids. They have been shown to govern several physiological processes, such as cell-cell communication, but also to be involved in pathological conditions, for example tumour progression. In infectious diseases, EVs have been shown to induce host immune responses and to mediate transfer of virulence or resistance factors. Here, we discuss recent developments in using EVs as diagnostic tools for infectious diseases, the development of EV-based vaccines and the use of EVs as potential anti-infective entity. We illustrate how EV-based strategies could open a viable new avenue to tackle current challenges in the field of infections, including barrier penetration and growing resistance to antimicrobials.
  • Diverse Applications of Nanomedicine.

    Pelaz, Beatriz; Alexiou, Christoph; Alvarez-Puebla, Ramon A; Alves, Frauke; Andrews, Anne M; Ashraf, Sumaira; Balogh, Lajos P; Ballerini, Laura; Bestetti, Alessandra; Brendel, Cornelia; Bosi, Susanna; Carril, Monica; Chan, Warren C W; Chen, Chunying; Chen, Xiaodong; Chen, Xiaoyuan; Cheng, Zhen; Cui, Daxiang; Du, Jianzhong; Dullin, Christian; Escudero, Alberto; Feliu, Neus; Gao, Mingyuan; George, Michael; Gogotsi, Yury; Grünweller, Arnold; Gu, Zhongwei; Halas, Naomi J; Hampp, Norbert; Hartmann, Roland K; Hersam, Mark C; Hunziker, Patrick; Jian, Ji; Jiang, Xingyu; Jungebluth, Philipp; Kadhiresan, Pranav; Kataoka, Kazunori; Khademhosseini, Ali; Kopeček, Jindřich; Kotov, Nicholas A; Krug, Harald F; Lee, Dong Soo; Lehr, Claus-Michael; Leong, Kam W; Liang, Xing-Jie; Ling Lim, Mei; Liz-Marzán, Luis M; Ma, Xiaowei; Macchiarini, Paolo; Meng, Huan; Möhwald, Helmuth; Mulvaney, Paul; Nel, Andre E; Nie, Shuming; Nordlander, Peter; Okano, Teruo; Oliveira, Jose; Park, Tai Hyun; Penner, Reginald M; Prato, Maurizio; Puntes, Victor; Rotello, Vincent M; Samarakoon, Amila; Schaak, Raymond E; Shen, Youqing; Sjöqvist, Sebastian; Skirtach, Andre G; Soliman, Mahmoud G; Stevens, Molly M; Sung, Hsing-Wen; Tang, Ben Zhong; Tietze, Rainer; Udugama, Buddhisha N; VanEpps, J Scott; Weil, Tanja; Weiss, Paul S; Willner, Itamar; Wu, Yuzhou; Yang, Lily; Yue, Zhao; Zhang, Qian; Zhang, Qiang; Zhang, Xian-En; Zhao, Yuliang; Zhou, Xin; Parak, Wolfgang J; Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS),Saarland 9 University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-03-28)
    The design and use of materials in the nanoscale size range for addressing medical and health-related issues continues to receive increasing interest. Research in nanomedicine spans a multitude of areas, including drug delivery, vaccine development, antibacterial, diagnosis and imaging tools, wearable devices, implants, high-throughput screening platforms, etc. using biological, nonbiological, biomimetic, or hybrid materials. Many of these developments are starting to be translated into viable clinical products. Here, we provide an overview of recent developments in nanomedicine and highlight the current challenges and upcoming opportunities for the field and translation to the clinic.
  • A 3D co-culture of three human cell lines to model the inflamed intestinal mucosa for safety testing of nanomaterials.

    Susewind, Julia; de Souza Carvalho-Wodarz, Cristiane; Repnik, Urska; Collnot, Eva-Maria; Schneider-Daum, Nicole; Griffiths, Gareth Wyn; Lehr, Claus-Michael; Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmaceutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2016)
    Oral exposure to nanomaterials is a current concern, asking for innovative biological test systems to assess their safety, especially also in conditions of inflammatory disorders. Aim of this study was to develop a 3D intestinal model, consisting of Caco-2 cells and two human immune cell lines, suitable to assess nanomaterial toxicity, in either healthy or diseased conditions. Human macrophages (THP-1) and human dendritic cells (MUTZ-3) were embedded in a collagen scaffold and seeded on the apical side of transwell inserts. Caco-2 cells were seeded on top of this layer, forming a 3D model of the intestinal mucosa. Toxicity of engineered nanoparticles (NM101 TiO2, NM300 Ag, Au) was evaluated in non-inflamed and inflamed co-cultures, and also compared to non-inflamed Caco-2 monocultures. Inflammation was elicited by IL-1β, and interactions with engineered NPs were addressed by different endpoints. The 3D co-culture showed well preserved ultrastructure and significant barrier properties. Ag NPs were found to be more toxic than TiO2 or Au NPs. But once inflamed with IL-1β, the co-cultures released higher amounts of IL-8 compared to Caco-2 monocultures. However, the cytotoxicity of Ag NPs was higher in Caco-2 monocultures than in 3D co-cultures. The naturally higher IL-8 production in the co-cultures was enhanced even further by the Ag NPs. This study shows that it is possible to mimic inflamed conditions in a 3D co-culture model of the intestinal mucosa. The fact that it is based on three easily available human cell lines makes this model valuable to study the safety of nanomaterials in the context of inflammation.
  • Biodegradable starch derivatives with tunable charge density-synthesis, characterization, and transfection efficiency.

    Thiele, Carolin; Loretz, Brigitta; Lehr, Claus Michael; Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS),Saarland Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2016-10-03)
    Regioselective oxidation of water-soluble starch and conversion with alkyl diamines resulted in defined cationic starch derivatives. Those were assessed in their potential for polyplex formation, biocompatibility, and transfection efficacy. The new polymers have the advantage of being biodegradable, being not cytotoxic at rather high concentrations (LC50 > 400 μg/ml) for C2 substitution, and reach transfection efficiencies comparable to commercial transfection reagents. The polymer with the highest transfection efficacy is a C12 substituted polymer (degree of substitution = 30 %) at N/P 3. The LC50 value of that highly modified polymer is still one order of magnitude lower than that of PEI 25 kDa.
  • Autologous co-culture of primary human alveolar macrophages and epithelial cells for investigating aerosol medicines. Part I: model characterisation.

    Hittinger, Marius; Janke, Julia; Huwer, Hanno; Scherließ, Regina; Schneider-Daum, Nicole; Lehr, Claus Michael; Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS),Saarland 9 University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2016-09)
    The development of new formulations for pulmonary drug delivery is a challenge on its own. New in vitro models which address the lung are aimed at predicting and optimising the quality, efficacy and safety of inhaled drugs, to facilitate the more rapid translation of such products into the clinic. Reducing the complexity of the in vivo situation requires that such models reproducibly reflect essential physiological factors in vitro. The choice of cell types, culture conditions and the experimental set-up, can affect the outcome and the relevance of a study. In the alveolar space of the lung, epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages are the most important cell types, forming an efficient cellular barrier to aerosols. Our aim was to mimic this barrier with primary human alveolar cells. Cell densities of alveolar macrophages and epithelial cells, isolated from the same human donor, were optimised, with a focus on barrier properties. The combination of 300,000 epithelial cells/cm² together with 100,000 macrophages/cm² showed a functional barrier (transepithelial electrical resistance > 500Ω.cm²). This cell model was combined with the Pharmaceutical Aerosol Deposition Device on Cell Cultures. The functionality of the in vitro system was investigated with spray-dried fluorescently labelled poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid particles loaded with ovalbumin as a model drug.

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