Reduction-sensitive hyaluronic acid nanoparticles for targeted intracellular deliery of doxorubicin

G. Saravanakumar, J.M. Shin, W. Um, J.H. Park
Sungkyunkwan University, KR

Keywords: hyaluronic acid, nanoparticles, reduction, drug delivery, doxorubicin


Disulfide-containing HA dodecyl conjugates (HA-SS-DDTs) were synthesized using the facile thiol-exchange reaction as the carrier for intracellular delivery of doxorubicin (DOX). Owing to its amphiphilicity, HA-SS-DDT could form self-assembled nanoparticles in an aqueous condition. The size of the nanoparticles was in the rage of 291-333 nm. The morphology of the nanoparticles was spherical in shape. DOX was successfully encapsulated into HA-SS-DDT6 nanoparticles with high drug loading efficiency (> 90%) by the oil-in-water emulsion method. In the presence of 10 mM GSH mimicking the intracellular condition, the DOX-loaded HA-SS-DDT (HA-SS-DDT6-DOX) nanoparticles released rapidly DOX, whereas its release rate decreased remarkably in the absence of GSH. The reduction-insensitive tetradecylamine conjugated HA (HA-TDA6) nanoparticles released DOX in a sustained manner and its release rate was not dependent on the GSH concentration. The in vitro cytotoxicity assay demonstrated dose-dependent cytotoxicity for HA-SS-DDT6-DOX nanoparticles against SCC7 cancer cells, whereas the bare nanoparticles had no significant cytotoxicity even at high concentrations. Cellular imaging studies revealed higher uptake of HA-SS-DDT6-DOX than free DOX for SCC7 cancer cells that over-express HA receptors, indicating receptor-mediated endocytosis of the nanoparticles. Overall, these results suggest that HA-SS-DDT nanoparticles have promising potential as the carrier of DOX for cancer therapy.