미래를 창조하는 포스텍 화학공학과
The esophagus is a tubular-shaped muscular organ where swallowed fluids and muscular contractions constitute a highly dynamic environment. The turbulent, coordinated processes that occur through the oropharyngeal conduit can often compromise targeted administration of therapeutic drugs to a lesion, significantly reducing therapeutic efficacy. Here, magnetically guidable drug vehicles capable of strongly adhering to target sites using a bioengineered mussel adhesive protein (MAP) to achieve localized delivery of therapeutic drugs against the hydrodynamic physiological conditions are proposed. A suite of highly uniform microparticles embedded with iron oxide (IO) nanoparticles (MAP@IO MPs) is microfluidically fabricated using the genipin-mediated covalent cross-linking of bioengineered MAP. The MAP@IO MPs are successfully targeted to a specific region and prolongedly retained in the tubular-structured passageway. In particular, orally administered MAP@IO MPs are effectively captured in the esophagus in vivo in a magnetically guidable manner. Moreover, doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded MAP@IO MPs exhibit a sustainable DOX release profile, effective anticancer therapeutic activity, and excellent biocompatibility. Thus, the magnetically guidable locomotion and robust underwater adhesive properties of the proteinaceous soft microbots can provide an intelligent modular approach for targeted locoregional therapeutics delivery to a specific lesion site in dynamic fluid-associated tubular organs such as the esophagus.