The combination of metabolic modulators with chemotherapy holds vast promise for effective inhibition of tumor progression and invasion. Herein, a ratiometric codelivery platform is developed for metformin (MET), a known metabolic modulator and topotecan (TPT), a chemotherapeutic drug, by engineering lipid bilayer–camouflaged mesoporous silica nanoparticles (LB-MSNs). In an attempt to deliver and maintain high tumor site concentrations of MET and TPT, a novel ion pairing–assisted loading procedure is developed using pamoic acid (PA) as an in situ trapping agent. PA, a hydrophobic counterion, increases the hydrophobicity of MET and TPT and facilitates MSNs with exceptionally high payload capacity (>40 and 32 wt%, respectively) and controlled release profile. Further, the synergy between MET and TPT determined by a modeling approach helps to afford synchronized delivery of both the drugs. Coloaded MET and TPT LB-MSNs present synergistic cytotoxicity against MDA-MB-231/4T1 cells and effectively promote apoptosis via mitochondrial membrane depolarization and cell cycle arrest. Extended pharmacokinetic profiles in preclinical models with fourfold to sevenfold longer circulation half-life and 7.5–100 times higher tumor site concentrations correspond to a significant increase in pharmacodynamic efficacy. Taken together, the developed codelivery approach effectively addresses the challenges in the chemotherapeutic efficacy of MET and TPT collectively.
- breast cancer
- ion pairing
- mesoporous silica nanoparticles