In-situ vaccination using dual responsive organelle targeted nanoreactors

Vishnu Sunil, Anbu Mozhi, Wenbo Zhan, Jia Heng Teoh, Pramila Baban Ghode, Nitish V Thakor, Chi-Hwa Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The poor translation of nanomedicines from bench to bedside can be attributed to (i) lack of a delivery system with precise drug compositions with no batch-to-batch variations, (ii) off-target or undesirable release of payload, and (iii) lack of a method to monitor the fate of the specific drug of interest, which often has to be modified with a fluorescent tag or replaced with a model drug which can be tracked. To overcome these translation hurdles, we developed dual responsive organelle targeted nanoreactors (DRONEs) with precise drug composition, site specific payload release and which enable accurate in-vivo monitoring. DRONEs consist of a polyprodrug inner core composed of a dual responsive backbone containing a photosensitizer (Protoporphyrin IX) grafted with functionalized polyethylene glycol (PEG) outer shell to prolong blood circulation and a tumour homing pro-apoptotic peptide (CGKRKD[KLAKLAK]2) (THP). DRONEs can significantly reduce the tumour burden in an orthotopic glioblastoma model due to its BBB penetrating and tumour homing capabilities. DRONEs exhibit good safety profile and biocompatibility along with a reliable route of elimination. DRONEs showed great potential as an in-situ vaccine which can not only eliminate the tumour but also trigger an adaptive immune response which would provide long-term anti-tumoural immunity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number121843
Number of pages16
Early online date10 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

This project is supported by the Economic Development Board Singapore and National University of Singapore under the grant N279-000-030-001. The project received partial support in the following grants: NAMIC Singapore and funded by the National Research Foundation Singapore under its Innovation Cluster Programme under the project number, 2018239 and grant number, R-279-000- 577-592. Singapore National Research Foundation, Grant No.: R-719-000-018-281. The authors would like to thank Mr. Lim You Kang for all his technical assistance in this project. Vishnu Sunil and Jia Heng Teoh greatly appreciate the National University of Singapore Research Scholarship for the funding of their Ph.D. studies at the National University of Singapore.

Data Availability Statement

The raw/processed data required to reproduce these findings cannot be shared at this time as the data also forms part of an ongoing study


  • in-situ vaccine
  • dual responsive
  • backbone shattering
  • combination therapy
  • orthotropic glioblastoma
  • mice model
  • personalised medicine


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