Red blood cell-hitchhiking boosts delivery of nanocarriers to chosen organs by orders of magnitude

Nat Commun. 2018 Jul 11;9(1):2684. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05079-7.

Red blood cell-hitchhiking boosts delivery of nanocarriers to chosen organs by orders of magnitude.

 

Abstract

Drug delivery by nanocarriers (NCs) has long been stymied by dominant liver uptake and limited target organ deposition, even when NCs are targeted using affinity moieties. Here we report a universal solution: red blood cell (RBC)-hitchhiking (RH), in which NCs adsorbed onto the RBCs transfer from RBCs to the first organ downstream of the intravascular injection. RH improves delivery for a wide range of NCs and even viral vectors. For example, RH injected intravenously increases liposome uptake in the first downstream organ, lungs, by ~40-fold compared with free NCs. Intra-carotid artery injection of RH NCs delivers >10% of the injected NC dose to the brain, ~10× higher than that achieved with affinity moieties. Further, RH works in mice, pigs, and ex vivo human lungs without causing RBC or end-organ toxicities. Thus, RH is a clinically translatable platform technology poised to augment drug delivery in acute lung disease, stroke, and several other diseases.

Nat Com Red blood cell hitch.PNG