Harnessing Macrophages for Controlled-Release Drug Delivery : lessons From Microbes

Visser, Johan Georg ; Du Preez Van Staden, Anton ; Smith, Carine (2019)

CITATION: Visser, J. G., Du Preez Van Staden, A. & Smith, C. 2019. Harnessing Macrophages for Controlled-Release Drug Delivery : lessons From Microbes. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 10:22, doi:10.3389/fphar.2019.00022.

The original publication is available at https://www.frontiersin.org

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.


With the effectiveness of therapeutic agents ever decreasing and the increased incidence of multi-drug resistant pathogens, there is a clear need for administration of more potent, potentially more toxic, drugs. Alternatively, biopharmaceuticals may hold potential but require specialized protection from premature in vivo degradation. Thus, a paralleled need for specialized drug delivery systems has arisen. Although cell-mediated drug delivery is not a completely novel concept, the few applications described to date are not yet ready for in vivo application, for various reasons such as drug-induced carrier cell death, limited control over the site and timing of drug release and/or drug degradation by the host immune system. Here, we present our hypothesis for a new drug delivery system, which aims to negate these limitations. We propose transport of nanoparticle-encapsulated drugs inside autologous macrophages polarized to M1 phenotype for high mobility and treated to induce transient phagosome maturation arrest. In addition, we propose a significant shift of existing paradigms in the study of host-microbe interactions, in order to study microbial host immune evasion and dissemination patterns for their therapeutic utilization in the context of drug delivery. We describe a system in which microbial strategies may be adopted to facilitate absolute control over drug delivery, and without sacrificing the host carrier cells. We provide a comprehensive summary of the lessons we can learn from microbes in the context of drug delivery and discuss their feasibility for in vivo therapeutic application. We then describe our proposed “synthetic microbe drug delivery system” in detail. In our opinion, this multidisciplinary approach may hold the solution to effective, controlled drug delivery.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105466
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