Lipid-coated superparamagnetic nanoparticles for thermoresponsive cancer treatment

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International Journal of Pharmaceutics


Poor aqueous solubility, chemical instability, and indiscriminate cytotoxicity have limited clinical development of camptothecin (CPT) as potent anticancer therapeutic. This research aimed at fabricating thermoresponsive nanocomposites that enhance solubility and stability of CPT in aqueous milieu and enable stimulus-induced drug release using magnetic hyperthermia. 1,2-Dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) and L-α-dipalmitoylphosphatidyl glycerol (DPPG) (1:1, mol/mol) were immobilized on the surface of superparamagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles (SPIONs) via high affinity avidin-biotin interactions. Heating behavior was assessed using the MFG-1000 magnetic field generator. Encapsulation efficiency and drug release were quantified by fluorescence spectroscopy. Anticancer efficacy of medicated nanoparticles was measured in vitro using Jurkat cells. The results revealed that drug incorporation did not significantly alter particle size, zeta potential, magnetization, and heating properties of lipid-coated SPIONs. Drug loading efficiency was 93.2 ± 5.1%. Drug release from medicated nanoparticles was significantly faster at temperatures above the lipid transition temperature, reaching 37.8 ± 2.6% of incorporated payload after 12 min under therapeutically relevant hyperthermia (i.e., 42 °C). Medicated SPIONs induced greater cytotoxicity than CPT in solution suggesting synergistic activity of magnetically-induced hyperthermia and drug-induced apoptosis. These results underline the opportunity for thermoresponsive phospholipid-coated SPIONs to enable clinical development of highly lipophilic and chemically unstable drugs such as CPT for stimulus-induced cancer treatment.

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