R. Marega, F. De Leo, F. Pineux, J. Sgrignani, A. Magistrato, A. D. Naik, Y. Garcia, L. Flamant, C. Michiels, D. Bonifazi,
Adv. Funct. Mater. 2013, 23, 3173-3184
With the aim to design addressable magnetically-active carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for cancer treatment, the use of Fe-filled CNTs (Fe@MWCNTs) as multifunctional scaffolds is reported for exohedrally anchoring a monoclonal antibody (mAb) known to bind a plasma membrane receptor over-expressed in several cancer cells (EGFR). Comprehensive microscopic (transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy) and spectroscopic (Raman, 57Fe Mossbauer, energy dispersive spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction) characterizations reveal the efficient confinement of magnetically-active Fe phases (α-Fe and Fe3C), while compositional evaluations through XPS, thermogravimetric analysis and gel electrophoresis confirm that mAb immobilization onto Fe@MWCNTs occurs. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), confocal microscopy imaging and western blotting confirm the targeting action toward EGFR-overexpressing cell lines (EGFR+). In vitro magnetic filtration experiments demonstrate that a selective removal of EGFR+ cells from a mixed population of healthy cell lines could be obtained in very short times (≈10 min). Cytotoxicity evaluations by classic cell staining procedures after application of an electromagnetic radiation inducing magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH), show a selective suppression of the EGFR+ cell line. Molecular dynamics and docking simulations of the hybrid mAb/Fe@MWCNTs conjugates nicely show how the presence of the CNT framework does not sterically affect the conformational properties of the two antigen binding regions, further supporting the biochemical findings.