Nano Research

Article Title

Metal-polyphenol-network coated CaCO3 as pH-responsive nanocarriers to enable effective intratumoral penetration and reversal of multidrug resistance for augmented cancer treatments


self-templated synthesis, gallic acid (GA)–Fe@calcium carbonate (CaCO3) hollow nanoparticles, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and chemodynamic therapy, improved intratumoral penetration, reversal of multi-drug resistance


Construction of multifunctional stimuli-responsive nanotherapeutics enabling improved intratumoral penetration of therapeutics and reversal of multiple-drug resistance (MDR) is potent to achieve effective cancer treatment. Herein, we report a general method to synthesize pH-dissociable calcium carbonate (CaCO3) hollow nanoparticles with amorphous CaCO3 as the template, gallic acid (GA) as the organic ligand, and ferrous ions as the metallic center via a one-pot coordination reaction. The obtained GA–Fe@CaCO3 exhibits high loading efficiencies to both oxidized cisplatin prodrug and doxorubicin, yielding drug loaded GA–Fe@CaCO3 nanotherapeutics featured in pH-responsive size shrinkage, drug release, and Fenton catalytic activity. Compared to nonresponsive GA–Fe@silica nanoparticles prepared with silica nanoparticles as the template, such GA–Fe@CaCO3 confers significantly improved intratumoral penetration capacity. Moreover, both types of drug-loaded GA–Fe@CaCO3 nanotherapeutics exhibit synergistic therapeutic efficacies to corresponding MDR cancer cells because of the GA–Fe mediated intracellular oxidative stress amplification that could reduce the efflux of engulfed drugs by impairing the mitochondrial-mediated production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). As a result, it is found that the doxorubicin loaded GA–Fe@CaCO3 exhibits superior therapeutic effect towards doxorubicin-resistant 4T1 breast tumors via combined chemodynamic and chemo-therapies. This work highlights the preparation of pH-dissociable CaCO3-based nanotherapeutics to enable effective tumor penetration for enhanced treatment of drug-resistant tumors.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press