International journal of pharmaceutics

Hepatoma-targeting and pH-sensitive nanocarriers based on a novel D-galactopyranose copolymer for efficient drug delivery.

PMID 25455771


Smart nanoparticles based on the mechanisms of asialoglycoprotein (ASGP)-mediated endocytosis and pH-induced drug release were developed for the efficient treatment of hepatoma using a newly developed copolymer, methoxy-polyethylene glycols (PEG)-b-poly (d-galactopyranose) (MPEG-b-PMaIPG). The particles exhibited spherical shapes, uniform particle size distribution (100 ± 4.43 nm), negative zeta potential (-32.8 ± 0.23 mV), high drug loading (24.77 ± 2.68%) and encapsulation efficiency (66.12 ± 9.44%). The in vitro drug release was also investigated, resulting that the release of drug from particles depended on different pH value. In vitro cell cytotoxicity and hemolysis assays were conducted to confirm the safety of the MPEG-b-PMaIPG nanoparticles. Anticancer activity showed that DOX-loaded MPEG-b-PMaIPG nanoparticles exhibited a high antitumor activity toward HepG2 cells, which was similar to free DOX, while blank MPEG-b-PMaIPG nanoparticles were non-toxic up to a tested concentration of 1.0mg/mL. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and flow cytometry (FCM) were used to verify the targeting efficiency of d-galactopyranose-modified nanoparticles. The results clearly demonstrated that d-galactopyranose-modified nanoparticles were taken up quickly by the HepG2 cells, which suggests that MPEG-b-PMaIPG nanoparticles with good biocompatibility and non-toxic for normal cells may be used as an effective cancer-targeting drug delivery system for chemotherapy.