Introduction: Nano formulations continue to be a very attractive venue for the development of “smart” drug delivery systems. Emerging green (organic) formulations do not require harsh chemical solvents and are easy to prepare.

Solid Core Lipid Formulations: The lipid phase (l.p.) contained a solid fatty acid (lauric acid) and liquid lipid (oleic acid) with or without Doxorubicin. 55° surfactant containing an emulsifying agent (Brij-58) mixed with nonionic surfactant (Span 80) was dropwise added. The emulsion was cooled to form temperature-activated nanoparticles (TAN). Before usage, the emulsion was activated by heating to 41°C.

Experiments: B16F10 melanoma, U87-MR glioblastoma, MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines were analyzed on a variety of quantitative Imaging platforms.

Results iCyte (CompuCyte): Laser based instrument for obtaining quantitative fluorescence and light scatter measurements. We obtained single endpoint dosage response curves to compare the TAN with free Dox, and found the TANs were effective at 4-6 times lower equivalent Dox concentrations.

Holomonitor (Phase Holographic Imaging): The HM4 resides in tissue culture incubators and allows long-term medium resolution holographic imaging. It offersa complete image processing library including routines for proliferation and cell tracking. We devised methods for 4-dimensional imaging (X pos. vs. Y pos. vs Time, vs. Density). Thus, we are able to monitor the temporal effects of the compounds.

Cell Explorer (Nanolive): The Cell Explorer has a a rotating mirror that directs the laser in an orbit around the sample to obtain super-resolution 3D tomographs. It enables long-term time-lapse imaging via stage-top environmental chamber. It is well suited for quantifying sub cellular components such as mitochondria and lipids. HT-2 (Tomocube): The HT-2 is a label-free ultra-high resolution holotomography system complemented by fluorescence capabilities. Combined RI and fluorescence images give the highest information content of any of the platforms.

Discussion: In 2012, Dixon et al described ferroptosis as a distinct new form of cell death through the iron dependent accumulation of oxidatively damaged phospholipids. They state that a diagnostic feature is mitochondrial shrinkage and collapse. We confirmed this in our tomographic imaging images. Other features that were detected and consistent with ferroptosis are loss of nuclear contents, a thickening of the nuclear membrane, and peri-nuclear mitochondrial accumulation. In 48-hour HM4 plots control cells show numerous mitotic events. Dox treated cells show cellular enlargement but no mitotic events. In the TAN population at about 20 hours, there is sudden death occurring in the entire population.

Conclusion: Our experiments suggest a high potency of the newly developed TANs. Ferroptosis is the most likely mechanism of action.

Citation Format: Farzana Parveen, Nina Filipczak, Asadullah Madni, Vladimir P. Torchilin, Ed Luther. Characterization of a green, temperature activated nano formulation that drives the mechanism of doxorubicin toxicity from apoptosis to ferroptosis [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2022; 2022 Apr 8-13. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2022;82(12_Suppl):Abstract nr 5327.