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A novel diblock copolymer of (monomethoxy poly [ethylene glycol]-oleate) with a small hydrophobic fraction to make stable micelles/polymersomes for curcumin delivery to cancer cells

Authors Erfani-Moghadam V, Nomani A, Zamani M, Yazdani Y, Najafi F, Sadeghizadeh M

Received 8 March 2014

Accepted for publication 2 June 2014

Published 28 November 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 5541—5554


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Vahid Erfani-Moghadam,1,6 Alireza Nomani,2 Mina Zamani,3 Yaghoub Yazdani,4 Farhood Najafi,5 Majid Sadeghizadeh1,3

1Department of Nanobiotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran; 2Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran; 3Department of Genetics, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran; 4Infectious Diseases Research Center and Laboratory Science Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Golestan, Iran; 5Department of Resin and Additives, Institute for Color Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran; 6Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Advanced Medical Technology, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

Abstract: Curcumin is a potent natural anticancer agent, but its effectiveness is limited by properties such as very low solubility, high rate of degradation, and low rate of absorption of its hydrophobic molecules in vivo. To date, various nanocarriers have been used to improve the bioavailability of this hydrophobic biomaterial. This study investigates the encapsulation of curcumin in a novel nanostructure of monomethoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-oleate (mPEG-OA) and its anticancer effect. Tests were done to determine the critical micelle concentration (CMC), encapsulation efficiency, drug-loading efficiency, and cytotoxicity (against U87MG brain carcinoma cells and HFSF-PI3 cells as normal human fibroblasts) of some nanodevice preparations. The results of fluorescence microscopy and cell-cycle analyses indicated that the in vitro bioavailability of the encapsulated curcumin was significantly greater than that of free curcumin. Cytotoxicity evaluations showed that half maximal inhibitory concentrations of free curcumin and curcumin-loaded mPEG-OA for the U87MG cancer cell line were 48 µM and 24 µM, respectively. The Annexin-V-FLUOS assay was used to quantify the apoptotic effect of the prepared nanostructures. Apoptosis induction was observed in a dose-dependent manner after curcumin-loaded mPEG-OA treatments. Two common self-assembling structures, micelles and polymersomes, were observed by atomic force microscopy and dynamic light scattering, and the abundance of each structure was dependent on the concentration of the diblock copolymer. The mPEG-OA micelles had a very low CMC (13.24 µM or 0.03 g/L). Moreover, atomic force microscopy and dynamic light scattering showed that the curcumin-loaded mPEG-OA polymersomes had very stable structures, and at concentrations 1,000 times less than the CMC, at which the micelles disappear, polymersomes were the dominant structures in the dispersion with a reduced size distribution below 150 nm. Overall, the results from these tests revealed that this nanocarrier can be considered as an appropriate drug delivery system for delivering curcumin to cancer cells.

Keywords: anticancer agent, nanocarrier, encapsulation, bioavailability, apoptosis, critical micelle concentration

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