Can the use of saturated fatty acids improve lipid drug delivery systems?

We are happy to feature a new publication from users of Nanolive’s 3D Cell Explorer, located at the AGH University of Science and Technology (Kraków, Poland) and The University of Sydney (Australia).

The effect of saturated fatty acids (FAs) on malignant and non-malignant cells has not been studied in great depth. In this article, Reczyńska and colleagues tested how saturated FAs (10:00-18:00) impacted cell viability in malignant human epithelial cells originating from lung carcinoma (A549), and non-malignant human epithelial cells originating from the lungs/bronchus (BEAS-2B).

They found that saturated FAs decreased viability in malignant cells by 53-91% compared to both untreated cells and treated non-malignant cells. Cell membrane stiffness was also reduced in treated malignant cells. The authors suggest the results can be explained by differences in the rate of uptake of FA between non-malignant (low uptake) and malignant cells (high uptake). The authors believe that these novel findings could be useful in the development of novel cancer therapies that use FAs as drug delivery carriers.

Nanolive’s 3D Cell Explorer was used to identify lipid vesicles inside the cells. The vesicles were digitally stained in order to quantify their volume (for details, see Figure 1 in the article).

In this video, kindly provided by Associate Professor Chrzanowski, we observe the morphological changes that cells undergo when they are exposed to toxic level of lipid particles. They show clear and severe signs of stress, becoming rounded and more granulated, before gradually dissociating.

If you wish to read this interesting article, you can download it here: https://aocs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/lipd.12216.

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