Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the uptake of lipoplexes by villous placenta explants.

Int J Pharm. 2019 Aug 15;567:118479. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2019.118479. Epub 2019 Jun 27.


Controlled distribution of a drug by its association to a nanocarrier is a promising approach for the treatment of pregnancy disorders such as preeclampsia. For this application, tracking both the nanocarrier and the drug is necessary to ensure the safety of both the mother and the foetus. This study reports a method to visualize and quantify the uptake of liposomal formulations in placental tissue using florescent labelling and appropriate analytical tools. Lipoplexes were labelled with a fluorescent lipid, DOPE-NBD while the encapsulated siRNA was fluorescently labelled with rhodamine. Lipoplexes were incubated with villous placenta explants, explants were imaged with confocal microscopy, then DOPE-NBD was extracted from the explant and quantified by HPLC. Qualitative evaluation by confocal microscopy showed the presence of lipoplexes and siRNA into the outer layer of the placental explants, the syncytiotrophoblast. For quantitative evaluation, an HPLC method for the quantification of fluorescent lipid DOPE-NBD in placental tissue was developed and validated. The developed method was applied to quantify the DOPE-NBD uptake in the placental tissue. Increased amounts of DOPE-NBD were detected in placental explants when increasing the incubation concentration of lipoplexes. This study provides a method to evaluate the interactions between liposomal formulation and the placental barrier.