Use of drug-loaded nanodroplets in an extravillous invasion model
Pre-eclampsia is a prevalent hypertensive disorder affecting around 10% of pregnancies worldwide. This condition is usually characterized by the onset of high blood pressure during or shortly after the 20th gestational week in combination with proteinuria. Left untreated, pre-eclampsia can lead to severe and often fatal complications for both mother and fetus. Current treatments for this condition primarily involve vasodilators to reduce the vascular tonus throughout the body, thereby decreasing blood pressure. A significant problem with the generalized delivery of vasodilators is a widescale nonspecific binding of vasodilators to systemic vasculature. This results in adverse symptoms such as migraines, severe nausea, and vomiting. In this study, we focus on developing a localized therapeutic delivery modality for the treatment of preeclampsia using phase shift perfluorocarbon nanodroplets (PFCNd). We constructed PFCNds loaded with G-1, an agonist for a G Protein-Coupled Estrogen Receptor-1 (GPER-1). The efficacy of drug loading was tested using immortalized human trophoblast cells (HTR8/SV neo). Drug-Loaded PFCNds were introduced into a 6-well plate containing HTR8 cells cultured under standard cell-culture practices. Each well was then exposed to a pulsed laser set to 800 nm for two and a half minutes to ensure the release of encapsulated G-1. After exposure, initial results indicated that HTR8 cells showed increased mRNA expression for Angiopoietin-like protein 4, and there was ii a noticeable increase in cell proliferation. Further testing of protocols and storage of desired drugs is ongoing for eventual optimization.