Multifunctional targeting micelle nanocarriers with both imaging and therapeutic potential for bladder cancer

Tzu yin Lin, Hongyong Zhang, Juntao T Luo, Yuanpei Li, Tingjuan Gao, Primo N. Lara, Ralph de Vere White, Kit S. Lam, Chong Xian Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: We previously developed a bladder cancer-specific ligand (PLZ4) that can specifically bind to both human and dog bladder cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. We have also developed a micelle nanocarrier drug-delivery system. Here, we assessed whether the targeting micelles decorated with PLZ4 on the surface could specifically target dog bladder cancer cells. Materials and methods: Micelle-building monomers (ie, telodendrimers) were synthesized through conjugation of polyethylene glycol with a cholic acid cluster at one end and PLZ4 at the other, which then self-assembled in an aqueous solution to form micelles. Dog bladder cancer cell lines were used for in vitro and in vivo drug delivery studies. Results: Compared to nontargeting micelles, targeting PLZ4 micelles (23.2± 8. nm in diameter) loaded with the imaging agent DiD and the chemotherapeutic drug paclitaxel or daunorubicin were more efficient in targeted drug delivery and more effective in cell killing in vitro. PLZ4 facilitated the uptake of micelles together with the cargo load into the target cells. We also developed an orthotopic invasive dog bladder cancer xenograft model in mice. In vivo studies with this model showed the targeting micelles were more efficient in targeted drug delivery than the free dye (14.3×; P<, 0.01) and nontargeting micelles (1.5×; <, 0.05). Conclusion: Targeting micelles decorated with PLZ4 can selectively target dog bladder cancer cells and potentially be developed as imaging and therapeutic agents in a clinical setting. Preclinical studies of targeting micelles can be performed in dogs with spontaneous bladder cancer before proceeding with studies using human patients. 2012 Cárdenas et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2793-2804
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
StatePublished - 2012


  • Bladder cancer-specific peptide
  • Bladder urothelial carcinoma
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Nanoparticle
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery


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