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Glycyrrhetinic acid-functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles as hepatocellular carcinoma-targeted drug carrier

Authors Lv Y, Li J, Chen H, Bai Y, Zhang L

Received 25 February 2017

Accepted for publication 8 May 2017

Published 12 June 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 4361—4370


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Yongjiu Lv,* Jingjing Li,* Huali Chen, Yan Bai, Liangke Zhang

Chongqing Key Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Chongqing Research Center for Pharmaceutical Engineering, College of Pharmacy, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: In this study, a glycyrrhetinic acid-functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSN-GA) was prepared for active tumor targeting. MSN-GA exhibited satisfactory loading capacity for insoluble drugs, uniform size distribution, and specific tumor cell targeting. Glycyrrhetinic acid, a hepatocellular carcinoma-targeting group, was covalently decorated on the surface of MSN via an amido bond. The successful synthesis of MSN-GA was validated by the results of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and zeta potential measurement. TEM images revealed the spherical morphology and uniform size distribution of the naked MSN and MSN-GA. Curcumin (CUR), an insoluble model drug, was loaded into MSN-GA (denoted as MSN-GA-CUR) with a high-loading capacity (8.78%±1.24%). The results of the in vitro cellular experiment demonstrated that MSN-GA-CUR significantly enhanced cytotoxicity and cellular uptake toward hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells via a specific GA receptor-mediated endocytosis mechanism. The results of this study provide a promising nanoplatform for the targeting of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Keywords: active tumor targeting, silica nanoparticle, drug loading capacity, HepG2 cells

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