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Preparation, characterization and anticancer activity of norcantharidin-loaded poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(caprolactone) amphiphilic block copolymer micelles

Preparation, characterization and anticancer activity of norcantharidin-loaded poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(caprolactone) amphiphilic block copolymer micelles

Die Pharmazie 67(9): 781-788

In this study, a novel amphiphilic block copolymer biomaterial - poly (ethylene glycol)-poly (caprolactone) (PEG-PCL), was used to entrap norcantharidin (NCTD), taking advantage of self-assembly theory. Dialysis and volatilization dialysis were used to prepare copolymer micelles. Drug-loaded micelles were compared with blank micelles in terms of their particle diameter, morphology and IR spectral characteristics. The results revealed that there was no significant difference in respect of morphology and IR spectrum, but particle size differed. Drug-loaded micelles had a smaller particle size than blank micelles. Three important factors influencing particle size, the drug loading content (LC) and the drug entrapment efficiency (EE) of the NCTD-loaded micelles, were studied. The results indicated that the method of preparation and the type of organic solvent had a significant influence on the size of the micelles. LC and EE were greatly affected by the ratio of NCTD to copolymer. In vitro release of NCTD from the conjugate micelles showed that its release rate depended on the pH of the phosphate buffer solution (PBS). The amount released was higher at lower pH than under neutral conditions. In vitro antitumor activity of the NCTD conjugate against human hepatoma (HepG2) cell line and human lung cancer (A549) cell line was evaluated by the MTT method. Micelles loaded with NCTD demonstrated greater and more satisfactory cell viability inhibition than the free drug. In vivo antitumor activity of drug-loaded micelles was investigated in mice bearing S180 mouse sarcoma. NCTD-loaded micelles displayed tumor inhibition effects, better than the free drug. As a new drug delivery system, copolymer micelles present many advantages including easy formulation, good water solubility, low toxicity and high treatment efficacy, and show great potential as carriers of hydrophobic drugs.

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Accession: 055137326

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PMID: 23016451

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