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Formulation, Cellular Uptake and Cytotoxicity of Thymoquinone-Loaded PLGA Nanoparticles in Malignant Melanoma Cancer Cells

Authors Ibrahim WN, Muizzuddin Bin Mohd Rosli L, Doolaanea AA

Received 25 June 2020

Accepted for publication 2 October 2020

Published 20 October 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 8059—8074


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Wisam Nabeel Ibrahim,1,2 Luqman Muizzuddin Bin Mohd Rosli,2 Abd Almonem Doolaanea2

1Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar; 2Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuantan 25200, Malaysia

Correspondence: Wisam Nabeel Ibrahim Tel +97444036025
Email; Abd Almonem Doolaanea Tel +6013-6238628

Introduction: Thymoquinone (TQ) is the main active compound extracted from Nigella sativa a traditional herb with wide therapeutic applications and recognizable anticancer properties. This study aimed to formulate and characterize TQ-nanoparticles using PLGA as a biocompatible coating material (TQ-PLGA NPs) with the evaluation of its therapeutic properties in human melanoma cancer cells.
Methods: The TQ-PLGA NPs were prepared and characterized for size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency, and release profile.
Results: The particle size was 147.2 nm, with 22.1 positive zeta potential and 96.8% encapsulation efficiency. The NPs released 45.6% of the encapsulated TQ within 3 h followed by characteristic sustained release over 7 days with a total of 69.7% cumulative release. TQ-PLGA NPs were taken up effectively by the cells in a time-dependent manner up to 24 h. Higher cell toxicity was determined within the first 24 h in melanoma cells due to the rapid release of TQ from the NPs and its low stability in the cell culture media.
Conclusion: TQ-PLGA NPs is a potential anticancer agent taking advantage of the sustained release and tailored size that allows accumulation in the cancer tissue by the enhanced permeability and retention effect. However, stability problems of the active ingredient were address in this study and requires further investigation.

Keywords: microencapsulation, thymoquinone, PLGA, nanoparticles, melanoma

Creative Commons License This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. The full terms of the License are available at The license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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