PloS one

Synthesis, characterization and in vitro study of biocompatible cinnamaldehyde functionalized magnetite nanoparticles (CPGF Nps) for hyperthermia and drug delivery applications in breast cancer.

PMID 25268975


Cinnamaldehyde, the bioactive component of the spice cinnamon, and its derivatives have been shown to possess anti-cancer activity against various cancer cell lines. However, its hydrophobic nature invites attention for efficient drug delivery systems that would enhance the bioavailability of cinnamaldehyde without affecting its bioactivity. Here, we report the synthesis of stable aqueous suspension of cinnamaldehyde tagged Fe3O4 nanoparticles capped with glycine and pluronic polymer (CPGF NPs) for their potential application in drug delivery and hyperthermia in breast cancer. The monodispersed superparamagnetic NPs had an average particulate size of ∼ 20 nm. TGA data revealed the drug payload of ∼ 18%. Compared to the free cinnamaldehyde, CPGF NPs reduced the viability of breast cancer cell lines, MCF7 and MDAMB231, at lower doses of cinnamaldehyde suggesting its increased bioavailability and in turn its therapeutic efficacy in the cells. Interestingly, the NPs were non-toxic to the non-cancerous HEK293 and MCF10A cell lines compared to the free cinnamaldehyde. The novelty of CPGF nanoparticulate system was that it could induce cytotoxicity in both ER/PR positive/Her2 negative (MCF7) and ER/PR negative/Her2 negative (MDAMB231) breast cancer cells, the latter being insensitive to most of the chemotherapeutic drugs. The NPs decreased the growth of the breast cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner and altered their migration through reduction in MMP-2 expression. CPGF NPs also decreased the expression of VEGF, an important oncomarker of tumor angiogenesis. They induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells through loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and activation of caspase-3. Interestingly, upon exposure to the radiofrequency waves, the NPs heated up to 41.6 °C within 1 min, suggesting their promise as a magnetic hyperthermia agent. All these findings indicate that CPGF NPs prove to be potential nano-chemotherapeutic agents in breast cancer.