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Title: Development of nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery to the placenta
Author: Cureton, Natalie
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 1844
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2017
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Pregnancy complications such as fetal growth restriction (FGR) are often attributed to poor uteroplacental blood flow, but the risk of systemic side-effects hinders therapeutic intervention. We have utilised novel placental-specific homing peptides to overcome this and have conjugated these to biocompatible liposomes. Peptide-conjugated liposomes were found to selectively bind to the outer syncytiotrophoblast layer of the human placenta and to the uteroplacental vasculature and labyrinth region of the mouse placenta. The novel vasodilator SE175 was selected as a nitric oxide donor with a favourable stability and release profile, to encapsulate in peptide-conjugated liposomes in an attempt to restore impaired uteroplacental blood flow in a mouse model of FGR, the endothelial nitric oxide synthase knockout mouse. Liposomes containing SE175 or PBS were prepared by lipid film hydration and targeting peptides coupled to the liposomal surface. Vehicle control, free SE175, PBS- or SE175-containing liposomes were intravenously injected on embryonic (E) days 11.5, 13.5, 15.5 and 17.5. Animals were sacrificed at E18.5 and fetal and placental weights recorded. Targeted delivery of SE175 significantly increased fetal weight compared to vehicle control but no other treatment groups, whilst significantly decreasing placental weight, indicating improved placental efficiency. Treatment was well tolerated, having no impact on litter size or resorptions. Targeted delivery of SE175, but no other treatment group, reduced a marker of lipid peroxidation in the placenta, indicating a reduction in oxidative stress. These data suggest that selective delivery of SE175 to the uteroplacental vasculature in peptide decorated liposomes may represent a novel treatment for FGR.
Supervisor: Aplin, John ; Tirelli, Nicola ; Harris, Lynda Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Pregnancy ; Nanocarrier ; Fetal growth restriction ; Vasodilator ; Homing peptide ; Liposome