Celecoxib Nanoparticles for Therapeutic Angiogenesis

Katherine Margulis, Evgenios A. Neofytou, Ramin E. Beygui, Richard N. Zare*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Controllable induction of blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) presents an important therapeutic goal in ischemic diseases and is also beneficial in various normal physiological processes. In this study, we have shown that nanoparticles of celecoxib, a lipophilic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, effectively evoke therapeutic angiogenesis in animal models, in both normal and ischemic organs. Celecoxib is widely considered to inhibit angiogenesis, although a recent study suggests that it can instead promote blood vessel growth in cancer cell lines. The hydrophobic nature of this drug necessitates its administration in nanoparticulate form in order to elicit a perceivable pharmacological response. We developed a facile method for nanoparticle formation by solvent extraction from microemulsions in supercritical carbon dioxide. This method exploits a spontaneous formation of nanometric domains within the microemulsion system and their rapid conversion to nanoparticles by supercritical fluid. The resultant nanoparticles were administered subcutaneously to mice in a biocompatible hydrogel, and caused a 4-fold increase in blood vessel count in normally perfused skin compared with drug-free particles. They were at least as effective in inducing angiogenesis as nanoparticles of deferoxamine, a well-established neovascularization promoter. Next, we evaluated their effect on ischemic tissues in murine model of myocardial infarction. We found that celecoxib nanoparticles were able to induce a significant vascularization of ischemic myocardium and hamper the progression of heart failure, which points toward a new approach for treating ischemia.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9416-9426
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number9
StatePublished - 22 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • COX-2 inhibitors
  • angiogenesis
  • celecoxib
  • deferoxamine
  • ischemia
  • mass spectrometry imaging
  • nanoparticles


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