Development and characteristics of novel sonosensitive liposomes for vincristine bitartrate

The aim of drug delivery is to increase therapeutic efficacy. Externally triggered drug delivery systems enable site-specific and time-controlled drug release. To achieve this goal, our strategy was based on ultrasound-triggered release of an anticancer agent from sonosensitive liposomes (SL). To realize the ultrasound-triggered drug release, a lipophilic sonosensitizer, hematoporphyrin monomethyl ether (HMME) was incorporated into the lipid bilayer of liposomes. Once irradiated by the ultrasound in tumor tissues, the sonodynamic effect generated by HMME could lead to an efficient disruption of the lipid bilayer in the SL. After encapsulating vincristine bitartrate (VIN) as the model drug, the ultrasound-triggered lipid bilayer breakdown can trigger the instant release of VIN, enabling ultrasound-controlled chemotherapy with great specificity. In the in vitro and in vivo studies, by integrating tumor-specific targeting and stimuli-responsive controlled release into one system, VIN-loaded SL showed excellent antitumor efficacy. The SL could potentially produce viable clinical strategies for improved targeting efficiency of VIN for the treatment of related cancer. More importantly, this report provides an example of controlled release by means of a novel class of ultrasound triggering system.