Targeted drug delivery systems are commonly used to improve the therapeutic index of anti-cancer drugs by increasing their selectivity and reducing systemic distribution and toxicity. Ligand-conjugated nanoparticles (NPs) can be effectively applied for active chemotherapeutic targeting to overexpressed receptors of tumor cells. In this study, transferrin (Tf ) was successfully conjugated with poly-l-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) using ethylene diamine confirmed by NMR, for the loading of docetaxel trihydrate (DCT) into PLGA nanoparticles (NPs). The DCT-loaded Tf -conjugated PLGA NPs were produced by an emulsion-solvent evaporation technique, and a 32 full factorial design was used to optimize the nanoparticle formulations. The DCT-loaded Tf -conjugated PLGA NPs were characterized by FTIR spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), TEM, particle size, and zeta potential analysis. In vitro release kinetics confirmed that release of DCT from the designed formulations followed a zero-order kinetics and a diffusion controlled non-Fickian release profile. The DCT-loaded Tf -conjugated PLGA NPs were evaluated in vitro in MCF-7 cells for bioactivity assessment. Cytotoxicity studies confirmed that the Tf -conjugated PLGA NPs were more active than the non-conjugated counterparts. Cell uptake studies re-confirmed the ligand-mediated active targeting of the formulated NPs. From the cell cycle analysis, the anti-cancer activity of DCT-loaded Tf -conjugated PLGA NPs was shown to occur by arresting the G2/M phase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics