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5-aminolevulinic acid-incorporated nanoparticles of methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-chitosan copolymer for photodynamic therapy

Authors Chung C, Chung K, Jeong Y, Kang DH

Received 26 October 2012

Accepted for publication 19 January 2013

Published 25 February 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 809—819


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Chung-Wook Chung,1,* Kyu-Don Chung,2,* Young-Il Jeong,1 Dae Hwan Kang,1

1National Research and Development Center for Hepatobiliary Disease, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Gyeongnam, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: The aim of this study was to make 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)-incorporated nanoparticles using methoxy polyethylene glycol/chitosan (PEG-Chito) copolymer for application in photodynamic therapy for colon cancer cells.
Methods: 5-ALA-incorporated (PEG-Chito-5-ALA) nanoparticles were prepared by ion complex formation between 5-ALA and chitosan. Protoporphyrin IX accumulation in the tumor cells and phototoxicity induced by PEG-Chito-5-ALA nanoparticles were assessed using CT26 cells in vitro.
Results: PEG-Chito-5-ALA nanoparticles have spherical shapes with sizes diameters 200 nm. More specifically, microscopic observation revealed a core-shell structure of PEG-Chito-5-ALA nanoparticles. 1H NMR spectra showed that 5-ALA was incorporated in the core of the nanoparticles. In the absence of light irradiation, all components such as 5-ALA, empty nanoparticles, and PEG-Chito-5-ALA nanoparticles did not affect the viability of cells. However, 5-ALA or PEG-Chito-5-ALA nanoparticles induced tumor cell death under light irradiation, and the viability of tumor cells was dose-dependently decreased according to the increase in irradiation time. In particular, PEG-Chito-5-ALA nanoparticles induced increased phototoxicity and higher protoporphyrin IX accumulation into the tumor cells than did 5-ALA alone. Furthermore, PEG-Chito-5-ALA nanoparticles accelerated apoptosis/necrosis of tumor cells, compared to 5-ALA alone.
Conclusion: PEG-Chito-5-ALA nanoparticles showed superior delivery capacity of 5-ALA and phototoxicity against tumor cells. These results show that PEG-Chito-5-ALA nanoparticles are promising candidates for photodynamic therapy of colon cancer cells.

Keywords: 5-ALA, photosensitizer, chitosan, nanoparticles, colon cancer, protoporphyrin IX

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