Publication: Plasma polymerized nanoparticles effectively deliver dual siRNA and drug therapy in vivo

Thomas R. Cox, Jul 2020

Plasma polymerized nanoparticles effectively deliver dual siRNA and drug therapy in vivo

We are delighted to have been part of an exciting study looking into the potential of a new class of multifunctional nanocarrier to deliver dual siRNA and drug therapy to breast tumours which was recently published in Scientific Reports.

The work was led by our collaborators Miguel Santos and Steven Wise from the Applied Materials Group at the University of Sydney who pioneered the development of these novel multifunctional nanocarriers.

Plasma polymerized nanoparticles for cancer treatment


Multifunctional nanocarriers (MNCs) promise to improve therapeutic outcomes by combining multiple classes of molecules into a single nanostructure, enhancing active targeting of therapeutic agents and facilitating new combination therapies. However, nanocarrier platforms currently approved for clinical use can still only carry a single therapeutic agent. The complexity and escalating costs associated with the synthesis of more complex MNCs have been major technological roadblocks in the pathway for clinical translation. Here, we show that plasma polymerized nanoparticles (PPNs), synthesised in reactive gas discharges, can bind and effectively deliver multiple therapeutic cargo in a facile and cost-effective process compatible with up scaled commercial production. Delivery of siRNA against vascular endothelial growth factor (siVEGF) at extremely low concentrations (0.04 nM), significantly reduced VEGF expression in hard-to-transfect cells when compared with commercial platforms carrying higher siRNA doses (6.25 nM). PPNs carrying a combination of siVEGF and standard of care Paclitaxel (PPN-Dual) at reduced doses (< 100 µg/kg) synergistically modulated the microenvironment of orthotopic breast tumors in mice, and significantly reduced tumor growth. We propose PPNs as a new nanomaterial for delivery of therapeutics, which can be easily functionalised in any laboratory setting without the need for additional wet-chemistry and purification steps.


View on PubMed here
View on the Scientific Reports website here (Open Access)
View the PDF here


Michael P et al. Plasma polymerized nanoparticles effectively deliver dual siRNA and drug therapy in vivo Scientific Reports (2020) | doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69591-x


The authors would like to thank E. Brackenreg, the James N Kirby Foundation, Optiver Asia Pacific, the Heart Research Institute and the National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation for funding support. TRC is the recipient of an NHMRC RD Wright Biomedical Career Development Fellowship and a Susan G. Komen Grant. TRC and ECF are also supported by the NHMRC, Cancer Council NSW, Cancer Institute NSW and St Vincents Clinic Foundation.