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Project TitleBiodegradable Delivery Vehicles for Improved Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) of Multidrug Resistant Tumors
Track Code7534
Short Description

Biodegradable microparticles, “HA-Arg-PEA”, assembled from hyaluronic acid (HA) and arginine based poly(ester amide)s (Arg-PEA), has been developed as carriers for photosensitizers in photodynamic therapy.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) enables localizing the effects of therapeutic agents and provides an alternative/complementary modality for the treatment of tumors. Researchers at Cornell University have developed a biodegradable nanocomplex as a carrier for the photosensitizer chlorin-e6.


This biodegradable complex is composed of the natural polysaccharide hyaluronic acid (HA) and an arginine based poly ester amides (Arg-PEA). Incorporation of HA enhances the tumor-specific endocytosis by interacting with the overexpressed CD44 receptor characteristic of many types of tumors. Arg-PEA electrostatically interacts with HA promoting particle self-assembly. At physiological and mildly acidic pH, Arg-PEA provides the additional benefits of inhibiting photosensitizer aggregation.


In vitro studies were performed on CD44 positive MDA-MB-435/MDR multidrug resistant melanoma cells. CD44-mediated uptake of the nanocomplexes significantly enhanced chlorin-e6 level in the MDA-MB-435/MDR cells after only a short incubation time. The release of chlorin-e6 can be accelerated by intracellular enzymatic degradation of the biodegradable complexes. Thus by promoting higher intracellular chlorin-e6 concentrations these nanocomplexes show efficacy in inhibiting multidrug resistant tumor cells.


Potential Applications

· Drug Delivery

· Targeted Chemotherapy



· Biodegradable

· Enhanced photosensitizer efficacy due to reduced aggregation

· Enhanced and selective endocytosis of photosensitizer by CD44 positive tumor cells.

· Efficacy in multidrug resistant tumors

· Structural integrity maintained under physiological and acidic pH

Tagsbiodegradable, CD44, chemotherapeutic, chemotherapy, Chlorin-e6, drug delivery, in vitro, micelle, Nanoparicle, PDT, photodynamic therapy, Hyaluronic Acid, melanoma, Multi-drug Resistant, photosensitizer, tumor
Posted DateJun 27, 2017 10:43 AM


Chih-Chang Chu
Ying Ji

Additional Information

Biodegradable nanocomplex from hyaluronic acid and arginine based poly(ester amide)s as the delivery vehicles for improved photodynamic therapy of multidrug resistant tumor cells: An in vitro study of the performance of chlorin-e6 photosensitizer. Ying Ji J. Biomed. Mater. Res. 2017, 105, 1487-1499.

Licensing Contact

Martin Teschl, Technology Commercialization & Liaison Officer
(607) 254-4454


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