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A major limitation of cell therapies is the rapid decline in viability and function of the transplanted cells. Here we describe a strategy to enhance cell therapy via the conjugation of adjuvant drug-loaded nanoparticles to the surfaces of therapeutic cells. With this method of providing sustained pseudoautocrine stimulation to donor cells, we elicited marked enhancements in tumor elimination in a model of adoptive T cell therapy for cancer. We also increased the in vivo repopulation rate of hematopoietic stem cell grafts with very low doses of adjuvant drugs that were ineffective when given systemically. This approach is a simple and generalizable strategy to augment cytoreagents while minimizing the systemic side effects of adjuvant drugs. In addition, these results suggest therapeutic cells are promising vectors for actively targeted drug delivery.


Matthias T Stephan, James J Moon, Soong Ho Um, Anna Bershteyn, Darrell J Irvine. Therapeutic cell engineering with surface-conjugated synthetic nanoparticles. Nature medicine. 2010 Sep;16(9):1035-41

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PMID: 20711198

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