• Co-Delivery of mRNA and pDNA Using Thermally Stabilized Coacervate-Based Core-Shell Nanosystems.

      Nasr, Sarah S; Lee, Sangeun; Thiyagarajan, Durairaj; Boese, Annette; Loretz, Brigitta; Lehr, Claus-Michael; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (MDPI, 2021-11-13)
      Co-delivery of different species of protein-encoding polynucleotides, e.g., messenger RNA (mRNA) and plasmid DNA (pDNA), using the same nanocarrier is an interesting topic that remains scarcely researched in the field of nucleic acid delivery. The current study hence aims to explore the possibility of the simultaneous delivery of mRNA (mCherry) and pDNA (pAmCyan) using a single nanocarrier. The latter is based on gelatin type A, a biocompatible, and biodegradable biopolymer of broad pharmaceutical application. A core-shell nanostructure is designed with a thermally stabilized gelatin-pDNA coacervate in its center. Thermal stabilization enhances the core's colloidal stability and pDNA shielding effect against nucleases as confirmed by nanoparticle tracking analysis and gel electrophoresis, respectively. The stabilized, pDNA-loaded core is coated with the cationic peptide protamine sulfate to enable additional surface-loading with mRNA. The dual-loaded core-shell system transfects murine dendritic cell line DC2.4 with both fluorescent reporter mRNA and pDNA simultaneously, showing a transfection efficiency of 61.4 ± 21.6% for mRNA and 37.6 ± 19.45% for pDNA, 48 h post-treatment, whereas established commercial, experimental, and clinical transfection reagents fail. Hence, the unique co-transfectional capacity and the negligible cytotoxicity of the reported system may hold prospects for vaccination among other downstream applications.
    • Tofacitinib Loaded Squalenyl Nanoparticles for Targeted Follicular Delivery in Inflammatory Skin Diseases.

      Christmann, Rebekka; Ho, Duy-Khiet; Wilzopolski, Jenny; Lee, Sangeun; Koch, Marcus; Loretz, Brigitta; Vogt, Thomas; Bäumer, Wolfgang; Schaefer, Ulrich F; Lehr, Claus-Michael; et al. (MDPI, 2020-11-24)
      Tofacitinib (TFB), a Janus kinase inhibitor, has shown excellent success off-label in treating various dermatological diseases, especially alopecia areata (AA). However, TFB's safe and targeted delivery into hair follicles (HFs) is highly desirable due to its systemic adverse effects. Nanoparticles (NPs) can enhance targeted follicular drug delivery and minimize interfollicular permeation and thereby reduce systemic drug exposure. In this study, we report a facile method to assemble the stable and uniform 240 nm TFB loaded squalenyl derivative (SqD) nanoparticles (TFB SqD NPs) in aqueous solution, which allowed an excellent loading capacity (LC) of 20%. The SqD NPs showed an enhanced TFB delivery into HFs compared to the aqueous formulations of plain drug in an ex vivo pig ear model. Furthermore, the therapeutic efficacy of the TFB SqD NPs was studied in a mouse model of allergic dermatitis by ear swelling reduction and compared to TFB dissolved in a non-aqueous mixture of acetone and DMSO (7:1 v/v). Whereas such formulation would not be acceptable for use in the clinic, the TFB SqD NPs dispersed in water illustrated a better reduction in inflammatory effects than plain TFB's aqueous formulation, implying both encouraging good in vivo efficacy and safety. These findings support the potential of TFB SqD NPs for developing a long-term topical therapy of AA.