Heparin based nanoparticles for cancer targeting and noninvasive imaging
Numerous papers on heparin nanoparticles have been reported regarding targeting therapy and biomedical imaging. Here, we have summarized the prospects and opportunities of heparin as a carrier for cancer targeting and imaging. First, we proposed heparin-anticancer drug conjugates showing higher anticancer activity than free drug. The conjugated heparin (heparin-deoxycholate sodium) retained its ability to bind with angiogenic factors, showing a significant decrease in endothelial tubular formation. Second, targeting ligands conjugated heparin derivatives have introduced for a receptor mediated delivery of anticancer drug. Heparin-folic acid-retinoic acid (HFR) bioconjugates for treating cancer cells showed 3 fold higher efficacy than heparin-retinoic acid (HR). Besides active and passive targeting drug delivery, several papers have been reported regarding delivery of imaging agents by heparin nanoparticles. Finally, this research highlight has covered imaging agents such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots (QDs) for noninvasive biomedical imaging. Very recently our group demonstrated that semiconductor QDs loaded heparin nanoparticles could also be administered through orally for noninvasive imaging. Due to promising features of heparin such as less toxic polysaccharide and easier modification, it was considered as a potent carrier for imaging agent and drug delivery.