Nanoparticles that do not compete with endogenous ligands - Molecular characterization in vitro, acute safety in canine, and interspecies pharmacokinetics modeling to humans. Academic Article uri icon


  • A vast majority, if not all of the receptor-mediated drug delivery systems utilize nanoparticles that are conjugated to physiological mimic ligands, with testing restricted to in vitro and rodent models. In this report, we present for the first time, a full spectrum characterization of transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1)-targeted polymeric nanoparticles (abbreviated, P2Ns-GA) that do not compete with endogenous transferrin, and serve as a versatile platform for oral drug delivery. Based on endocytosis inhibitors and receptor knockdown, the cellular uptake of P2Ns-GA is clathrin-mediated and dependent on TfR1 expression, but other trafficking mechanisms, particularly those involving caveolae/lipid rafts, can also play a role. The utility of P2Ns-GA in promoting the oral bioavailability of encapsulated compounds is demonstrated with a hydrophobic polyphenol, urolithin A (UA). When compared against plain UA or UA in ligand-free nanoparticles, UA-loaded P2Ns-GA led to markedly higher plasma concentrations among healthy canines, with no adverse health effects observed after oral dosing. Finally, a semi-mechanistic pharmacokinetic model was developed using both rat and dog datasets to quantitatively evaluate the effect of P2Ns-GA on oral bioavailability of UA. The model was allometrically scaled to humans to simulate clinical pharmacokinetics of plain UA and UA-loaded P2Ns-GA following oral administration.

published proceedings

  • J Control Release

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Zou, D., Arora, M., Ganugula, R., Kumar, M., Scott, E. M., Shah, D., & Kumar, M.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Zou, Dianxiong||Arora, Meenakshi||Ganugula, Raghu||Kumar, Mokshada||Scott, Erin M||Shah, Dhaval||Kumar, MNV Ravi

publication date

  • April 2021