Comparative evaluation of novel biodegradable nanoparticles for the drug targeting to breast cancer cells.
Nanomedicine formulations such as biodegradable nanoparticles (nps) and liposomes offer several advantages over traditional routes of administration: due to their small size, nanocarriers are able to selective accumulate inside tumours or inflammatory tissues, resulting in improved drug efficacy and reduced side effects. To further augment targeting ability of nanoparticles towards tumour cells, specific ligands or antibodies that selectively recognize biomarkers over-expressed on cancer cells, can be attached to the surface either by chemical bond or by hydrophilic/hydrophobic interactions. In the present work, Herceptin (HER), a monoclonal antibody (mAb) able to selectively recognize HER-2 over-expressing tumour cells (such as breast and ovarian cancer cells) was absorbed on the surface of nanoparticles through hydrophilic/hydrophobic interactions. Nps were prepared by a modified single emulsion solvent evaporation method with five different polymers: three commercial polyesters (poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL), poly (D,L-lactide) (PLA) and poly (D,L-lactide-co-.glycolide) (PLGA)) and two novel biodegradable polyesterurethanes (PURs) based on Poly(ε-caprolactone) blocks, synthesized with different chain extenders (1,4-cyclohexane dimethanol (CDM) and N-Boc-serinol). Polyurethanes were introduced as matrix-forming materials for nanoparticles due to their high chemical versatility, which allows tailoring of the materials final properties by properly selecting the reagents. All nps exhibited a small size and negative surface charge, suitable for surface functionalisation with mAb through hydrophilic/hydrophobic interactions. The extent of cellular internalization was tested on two different cell lines: MCF-7 and SK-BR-3 breast cancer cells showing a normal and a high expression of the HER-2 receptor, respectively. Paclitaxel, a model anti-neoplastic drug was encapsulated inside all nps and release profiles and cytoxicity on SK-BR-3 cells were also assessed. Interestingly, PUR nps were superior to commercial polyester-based nps in terms of higher cellular internalization and cytotoxic activity on the tested cell lines. Results obtained warrants further investigation on the application of these PUR nps for controlled drug delivery and targeting.