In vivo targeting of dendritic cells in lymph nodes with poly(propylene sulfide) nanoparticles

Sai T. Reddy, Annemie Rehor, Hugo G. Schmoekel, Jeffrey A. Hubbell, Melody A. Swartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

465 Scopus citations


Delivery of biodegradable nanoparticles to antigen-presenting cells (APCs), specifically dendritic cells (DCs), has potential for immunotherapy. This study investigates the delivery of 20, 45, and 100 nm diameter poly(ethylene glycol)-stabilized poly(propylene sulfide) (PPS) nanoparticles to DCs in the lymph nodes. These nanoparticles consist of a cross-linked rubbery core of PPS surrounded by a hydrophilic corona of poly(ethylene glycol). The PPS domain is capable of carrying hydrophobic drugs and degrades within oxidative environments. 20 nm particles were most readily taken up into lymphatics following interstitial injection, while both 20 and 45 nm nanoparticles showed significant retention in lymph nodes, displaying a consistent and strong presence at 24, 72, 96 and 120 h post-injection. Nanoparticles were internalized by up to 40-50% of lymph node DCs (and APCs) without the use of a targeting ligand, and the site of internalization was in the lymph nodes rather than at the injection site. Finally, an increase in nanoparticle-containing DCs (and other APCs) was seen at 96 h vs. 24 h, suggesting an infiltration of these cells to lymph nodes. Thus, PPS nanoparticles of 20-45 nm have the potential for immunotherapeutic applications that specifically target DCs in lymph nodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigen-presenting cells
  • Immunotherapy
  • Macrophages
  • Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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