Biomimetic Magnetic Nanostructures: A Theranostic Platform Targeting Lipid Metabolism and Immune Response in Lymphoma

Abhalaxmi Singh, Vikas Nandwana, Jonathan S. Rink, Soo Ryoon Ryoo, Tzu Hung Chen, Sean David Allen, Evan A. Scott, Leo I. Gordon, C. Shad Thaxton, Vinayak P. Dravid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


B-cell lymphoma cells depend upon cholesterol to maintain pro-proliferation and pro-survival signaling via the B-cell receptor. Targeted cholesterol depletion of lymphoma cells is an attractive therapeutic strategy. We report here high-density lipoprotein mimicking magnetic nanostructures (HDL-MNSs) that can bind to the high-affinity HDL receptor, scavenger receptor type B1 (SR-B1), and interfere with cholesterol flux mechanisms in SR-B1 receptor positive lymphoma cells, causing cellular cholesterol depletion. In addition, the MNS core can be utilized for its ability to generate heat under an external radio frequency field. The thermal activation of MNS can lead to both innate and adaptive antitumor immune responses by inducing the expression of heat shock proteins that lead to activation of antigen presenting cells and finally lymphocyte trafficking. In the present study, we demonstrate SR-B1 receptor mediated binding and cellular uptake of HDL-MNS and prevention of phagolysosome formation by transmission electron microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, and ICP-MS analysis. The combinational therapeutics of cholesterol depletion and thermal activation significantly improves therapeutic efficacy in SR-B1 expressing lymphoma cells. HDL-MNS reduces the T2 relaxation time under magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) more effectively compared with a commercially available contrast agent, and the specificity of HDL-MNS toward the SR-B1 receptor leads to differential contrast between SR-B1 positive and negative cells suggesting its utility in diagnostic imaging. Overall, we have demonstrated that HDL-MNSs have cell specific targeting efficiency, can modulate cholesterol efflux, can induce thermal activation mediated antitumor immune response, and possess high contrast under MRI, making it a promising theranostic platform in lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10301-10311
Number of pages11
JournalACS nano
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 24 2019


  • SR-B1 receptor
  • antitumor immune response
  • high-density lipoprotein
  • lymphoma
  • magnetic nanostructure
  • thermal activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Materials Science


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