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Co-electrospraying of tumour cell mimicking hollow polymeric microspheres for diffusion magnetic resonance imaging

DOI: 10.1016/j.msec.2019.03.062 DOI Help

Authors: Feng-lei Zhou (The University of Manchester) , Huihui Wu (The University of Manchester; Ningbo University) , Damien J. Mchugh (The University of Manchester) , Ian Wimpenny (The University of Manchester) , Xun Zhang (The University of Manchester) , Julie E. Gough (The University of Manchester) , Penny L. Hubbard Cristinacce (The University of Manchester) , Geoff J. M. Parker (The University of Manchester; Bioxydyn Limited)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Materials Science And Engineering: C

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 15507

Abstract: Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) is considered as a useful tool to study solid tumours. However, the interpretation of dMRI signal and validation of quantitative measurements of is challenging. One way to address these challenges is by using a standard reference material that can mimic tumour cell microstructure. There is a growing interest in using hollow polymeric microspheres, mainly prepared by multiple steps, as mimics of cells in healthy and diseased tissue. The present work reports on tumour cell-mimicking materials composed of hollow microspheres for application as a standard material in dMRI. These microspheres were prepared via one-step co-electrospraying process. The shell material was poly(d,l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) polymers with different molecule weights and/or ratios of glycolic acid-to-lactic, while the core was polyethylene glycol (PEG) or ethylene glycol. The resultant co-electrosprayed products were characterised by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and synchrotron X-ray micro-CT. These products were found to have variable structures and morphologies, e.g. from spherical particles with/without surface hole, through beaded fibres to smooth fibres, which mainly depend on PLGA composition and core materials. Only the shell material of PLGA polymer with ester terminated, Mw 50,000–75,000 g mol−1, and lactide:glycolide 85:15 formed hollow microspheres via the co-electrospraying process using the core material of 8 wt% PEG/chloroform as the core. A water-filled test object (or phantom) was designed and constructed from samples of the material generated from co-electrosprayed PLGA microspheres and tested on a 7 T MRI scanner. The preliminary MRI results provide evidence that hollow PLGA microspheres can restrict/hinder water diffusion as cells do in tumour tissue, implying that the phantom may be suitable for use as a quantitative validation and calibration tool for dMRI.

Journal Keywords: Co-electrospraying; Hollow microspheres; Tumour cells; Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging; Phantom

Subject Areas: Materials
Collaborations: Diamond Manchester

Instruments: I13-2-Diamond Manchester Imaging