Theranostics 2015; 5(5):489-503. doi:10.7150/thno.10069

Research Paper

Magnetoliposomes Loaded with Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids as Novel Theranostic Anti-Inflammatory Formulations

Daniel Calle1, Viviana Negri1,2, Paloma Ballesteros2, Sebastián Cerdán1✉

1. Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas “Alberto Sols” CSIC/UAM, c/Arturo Duperier 4, Madrid 28029, Spain.
2. Laboratorio de Síntesis Orgánica e Imagen Molecular por Resonancia Magnética, Facultad de Ciencias, UNED, Unidad Asociada al CSIC, c/ Paseo Senda del Rey 9, Madrid 28040, Spain.

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Calle D, Negri V, Ballesteros P, Cerdán S. Magnetoliposomes Loaded with Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids as Novel Theranostic Anti-Inflammatory Formulations. Theranostics 2015; 5(5):489-503. doi:10.7150/thno.10069. Available from

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We describe the preparation, physico-chemical characterization and anti-inflammatory properties of liposomes containing the superparamagnetic nanoparticle Nanotex, the fluorescent dye Rhodamine-100 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ethyl ester (ω-3 PUFA-EE), as theranostic anti-inflammatory agents. Liposomes were prepared after drying chloroform suspensions of egg phosphatidylcholine, hydration of the lipid film with aqueous phases containing or not Nanotex, Rhodamine-100 dye or ω-3 PUFA-EE, and eleven extrusion steps through nanometric membrane filters. This resulted in uniform preparations of liposomes of approximately 200 nm diameter. Extraliposomal contents were removed from the preparation by gel filtration chromatography. High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning 1H NMR Spectroscopy of the liposomal preparations containing ω-3 PUFA-EE revealed well resolved 1H resonances from highly mobile ω-3 PUFA-EE, suggesting the formation of very small (ca. 10 nm) ω-3 PUFA-EE nanogoticules, tumbling fast in the NMR timescale. Chloroform extraction of the liposomal preparations revealed additionally the incorporation of ω-3 PUFA-EE within the membrane domain. Water diffusion weighted spectra, indicated that the goticules of ω-3 PUFA-EE or its insertion in the membrane did not affect the average translational diffusion coefficient of water, suggesting an intraliposomal localization, that was confirmed by ultrafiltration. The therapeutic efficacy of these preparations was tested in two different models of inflammatory disease as inflammatory colitis or the inflammatory component associated to glioma development. Results indicate that the magnetoliposomes loaded with ω-3 PUFA-EE allowed MRI visualization in vivo and improved the outcome of inflammatory disease in both animal models, decreasing significantly colonic inflammation and delaying, or even reversing, glioma development. Together, our results indicate that magnetoliposomes loaded with ω-3 PUFA-EE may become useful anti-inflammatory agents for image guided drug delivery.

Keywords: Magnetoliposomes, ω-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acid ethyl ester, Superparamagnetic nanoparticle, MRI, Image guided drug delivery.