Novel Bio-based Nano-capsule for Targeted and Controlled Drug Release
In some cases, non-selectivity and severe side effects of chemotherapies are the ones responsible for the patient’s death rather than cancer itself. So, although there are many successful cytotoxic drugs that have been reported in recent years, quality treatment for the cancer is still out of reach. The best anti-cancer therapeutic agent should work only on the targeted cancer cells while remaining inactive within the other healthy body organs. In this research,
cytotoxic model drug i.e. 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and cyclophosphamide (CPA) were entrapped into an inorganic calcium hybridized chitosan/carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) nanoparticle to develop target-specific nano-carrier. Low molecular weight chitosan and thermally degraded carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) were mixed in several ratios with varying concentrations. Nanoparticle size was found to be varied with variable concentration of chitosan and CMC where decreasing concentration led to nanoparticles of smaller sizes. Zetasizer study suggested that particle size of 500 µg/mL chitosan mixed with 500 µg/mL CMC was 435.06±15.20 nm whereas 200 µg/mL chitosan mixed with 200 µg/mL CMC showed particle size of 178.76±6.35 nm. These nanoparticles were also found to be biocompatible with the human forehead fibroblast cell line (Hs-68) which suggested their compatibility with healthy human tissues. In the cytotoxicity study on the MCF-7 cell line, it was found that drug-loaded nanoparticles were more effective for sustained release of the drug to kill cancer cells compared to the drug individually. Besides, as the nanoparticle was fabricated with organic polymers with free functional groups, it is possible to conjugate it with cancer-selective targeting ligands such as folic acid and/or RGD peptide to induce cancer specificity into the drug-loaded nanoparticle.