Nanoparticles Accumulate in the Female Reproductive System during Ovulation Affecting Cancer Treatment and Fertility

Maria Poley, Patricia Mora-Raimundo, Yael Shammai, Maya Kaduri, Lilach Koren, Omer Adir, Jeny Shklover, Janna Shainsky-Roitman, Srinivas Ramishetti, Francis Man, Rafael T.M. De Rosales, Assaf Zinger, Dan Peer, Irit Ben-Aharon, Avi Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Throughout the female menstrual cycle, physiological changes occur that affect the biodistribution of nanoparticles within the reproductive system. We demonstrate a 2-fold increase in nanoparticle accumulation in murine ovaries and uterus during ovulation, compared to the nonovulatory stage, following intravenous administration. This biodistribution pattern had positive or negative effects when drug-loaded nanoparticles, sized 100 nm or smaller, were used to treat different cancers. For example, treating ovarian cancer with nanomedicines during mouse ovulation resulted in higher drug accumulation in the ovaries, improving therapeutic efficacy. Conversely, treating breast cancer during ovulation, led to reduced therapeutic efficacy, due to enhanced nanoparticle accumulation in the reproductive system rather than at the tumor site. Moreover, chemotherapeutic nanoparticles administered during ovulation increased ovarian toxicity and decreased fertility compared to the free drug. The menstrual cycle should be accounted for when designing and implementing nanomedicines for females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5246-5257
Number of pages12
JournalACS Nano
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 26 2022


  • breast cancer
  • fertility
  • gender medicine
  • gold nanoparticles
  • liposome
  • mRNA LNP
  • ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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