Preparation and in vitro characterization of 9-nitrocamptothecin-loaded long circulating nanoparticles for delivery in cancer patients
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The purpose in this study was to investigate poly(ethylene glycol)-modified poly (d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles (PLGA-PEG-NPs) loading 9-nitrocamptothecin (9-NC) as a potent anticancer drug. 9-NC is an analog of the natural plant alkaloid camptothecin that has shown high antitumor activity and is currently in the end stage of clinical trial. Unfortunately, at physiological pH, these potent agents undergo a rapid and reversible hydrolysis with the loss of antitumor activity. Previous researchers have shown that the encapsulation of this drug in PLGA nanoparticles could increase its stability and release profile. In this research we investigated PLGA-PEG nanoparticles and their effect on in vitro characteristics of this labile drug. 9-NC-PLGA-PEG nanoparticles with particle size within the range of 148.5 ± 30 nm were prepared by a nanoprecipitation method. The influence of four different independent variables (amount of polymer, percent of emulsifier, internal phase volume, and external phase volume) on nanoparticle drug-loading was studied. Differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffractometry were also evaluated for physical characterizing. The results of optimized formulation showed a narrow size distribution, suitable zeta potential (+1.84), and a drug loading of more than 45%. The in vitro drug release from PLGA-PEG NPs showed a sustained release pattern of up to 120 hours and comparing with PLGA-NPs had a significant decrease in initial burst effect. These experimental results indicate that PLGA-PEG-NPs (versus PLGA-NPs) have a better physicochemical characterization and can be developed as a drug carrier in order to treat different malignancies. © 2010 Derakhshandeh et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.