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Epithelial cell adhesion molecule aptamer functionalized PLGA-lecithin-curcumin-PEG nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery to human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells

Authors Li L, Xiang D, Shigdar S, Yang W, Li Q, Lin J, Liu K, Duan W

Received 27 December 2013

Accepted for publication 17 January 2014

Published 21 February 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 1083—1096

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S59779

Checked for plagiarism Yes

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Peer reviewer comments 3


Lei Li,1,* Dongxi Xiang,2,* Sarah Shigdar,2 Wenrong Yang,3 Qiong Li,2 Jia Lin,4 Kexin Liu,1 Wei Duan2

1College of Pharmacy, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, People's Republic of China; 2School of Medicine, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, VIC, Australia; 3School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, VIC, Australia; 4Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, West China School of Preclinical and Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People's Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: To improve the efficacy of drug delivery, active targeted nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems are gaining considerable attention as they have the potential to reduce side effects, minimize toxicity, and improve efficacy of anticancer treatment. In this work CUR-NPs (curcumin-loaded lipid-polymer-lecithin hybrid nanoparticles) were synthesized and functionalized with ribonucleic acid (RNA) Aptamers (Apts) against epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) for targeted delivery to colorectal adenocarcinoma cells. These CUR-encapsulated bioconjugates (Apt-CUR-NPs) were characterized for particle size, zeta potential, drug encapsulation, stability, and release. The in vitro specific cell binding, cellular uptake, and cytotoxicity of Apt-CUR-NPs were also studied. The Apt-CUR-NP bioconjugates exhibited increased binding to HT29 colon cancer cells and enhancement in cellular uptake when compared to CUR-NPs functionalized with a control Apt (P<0.01). Furthermore, a substantial improvement in cytotoxicity was achieved toward HT29 cells with Apt-CUR-NP bioconjugates. The encapsulation of CUR in Apt-CUR-NPs resulted in the increased bioavailability of delivered CUR over a period of 24 hours compared to that of free CUR in vivo. These results show that the EpCAM Apt-functionalized CUR-NPs enhance the targeting and drug delivery of CUR to colorectal cancer cells. Further development of CUR-encapsulated, nanosized carriers will lead to improved targeted delivery of novel chemotherapeutic agents to colorectal cancer cells.

Keywords: PLGA-lecithin-PEG nanoparticles, curcumin, EpCAM, aptamer, targeted drug delivery

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