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Magnesium silicide nanoparticles as a deoxygenation agent for cancer starvation therapy

Nature Nanotechnology volume 12, pages 378386 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

A material that rapidly absorbs molecular oxygen (known as an oxygen scavenger or deoxygenation agent (DOA)) has various industrial applications, such as in food preservation, anticorrosion of metal and coal deoxidation. Given that oxygen is vital to cancer growth, to starve tumours through the consumption of intratumoral oxygen is a potentially useful strategy in fighting cancer. Here we show that an injectable polymer-modified magnesium silicide (Mg2Si) nanoparticle can act as a DOA by scavenging oxygen in tumours and form by-products that block tumour capillaries from being reoxygenated. The nanoparticles are prepared by a self-propagating high-temperature synthesis strategy. In the acidic tumour microenvironment, the Mg2Si releases silane, which efficiently reacts with both tissue-dissolved and haemoglobin-bound oxygen to form silicon oxide (SiO2) aggregates. This in situ formation of SiO2 blocks the tumour blood capillaries and prevents tumours from receiving new supplies of oxygen and nutrients.

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Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 51372260 and no. 51132009) and the Shanghai Excellent Academic Leaders Program (Grant no.16XD1404000). We thank C. Zuo and C. Cheng from the Department of Nuclear Medicine, Changhai Hospital, for providing the 18F-MISO PET/CT imaging; J. Qu from GE Healthcare, Shanghai, for technical assistance with the MRI and P. Lu, Q. Li, L. Zhang and J. Feng from the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, for useful discussions.

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Affiliations

  1. State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China

    • Chen Zhang
    • , Dalong Ni
    • , Yanyan Liu
    • , Heliang Yao
    • , Wenbo Bu
    •  & Jianlin Shi
  2. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Chemical Processes, School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China

    • Wenbo Bu

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Contributions

C.Z., W.B. and J.S. conceived the experiments and were responsible for most of the data collection. D.N. and Y.L. helped with the biomedical evaluations. H.Y. contributed to the TEM measurement and structure analysis. C.Z., W.B. and J.S. analysed the experimental data and wrote the paper. All the authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Wenbo Bu or Jianlin Shi.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2016.280

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