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1.  Nanoparticles of Poly(Lactide-Co-Glycolide)-d-a-Tocopheryl Polyethylene Glycol 1000 Succinate Random Copolymer for Cancer Treatment 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2010;5(7):1161-1169.
Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. Nanomaterials and nanotechnologies could provide potential solutions. In this research, a novel biodegradable poly(lactide-co-glycolide)-d-a-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (PLGA-TPGS) random copolymer was synthesized from lactide, glycolide and d-a-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS) by ring-opening polymerization using stannous octoate as catalyst. The obtained random copolymers were characterized by 1H NMR, FTIR, GPC and TGA. The docetaxel-loaded nanoparticles made of PLGA-TPGS copolymer were prepared by a modified solvent extraction/evaporation method. The nanoparticles were then characterized by various state-of-the-art techniques. The results revealed that the size of PLGA-TPGS nanoparticles was around 250 nm. The docetaxel-loaded PLGA-TPGS nanoparticles could achieve much faster drug release in comparison with PLGA nanoparticles. In vitro cellular uptakes of such nanoparticles were investigated by CLSM, demonstrating the fluorescence PLGA-TPGS nanoparticles could be internalized by human cervix carcinoma cells (HeLa). The results also indicated that PLGA-TPGS-based nanoparticles were biocompatible, and the docetaxel-loaded PLGA-TPGS nanoparticles had significant cytotoxicity against Hela cells. The cytotoxicity against HeLa cells for PLGA-TPGS nanoparticles was in time- and concentration-dependent manner. In conclusion, PLGA-TPGS random copolymer could be acted as a novel and promising biocompatible polymeric matrix material applicable to nanoparticle-based drug delivery system for cancer chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC2893931  PMID: 20596457
PLGA-TPGS; Random copolymer; Docetaxel; Nanoparticle; HeLa; Cancer chemotherapy
2.  Nanoparticles of Poly(Lactide-Co-Glycolide)-d-a-Tocopheryl Polyethylene Glycol 1000 Succinate Random Copolymer for Cancer Treatment 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2010;5(7):1161-1169.
Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. Nanomaterials and nanotechnologies could provide potential solutions. In this research, a novel biodegradable poly(lactide-co-glycolide)-d-a-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (PLGA-TPGS) random copolymer was synthesized from lactide, glycolide and d-a-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS) by ring-opening polymerization using stannous octoate as catalyst. The obtained random copolymers were characterized by 1H NMR, FTIR, GPC and TGA. The docetaxel-loaded nanoparticles made of PLGA-TPGS copolymer were prepared by a modified solvent extraction/evaporation method. The nanoparticles were then characterized by various state-of-the-art techniques. The results revealed that the size of PLGA-TPGS nanoparticles was around 250 nm. The docetaxel-loaded PLGA-TPGS nanoparticles could achieve much faster drug release in comparison with PLGA nanoparticles. In vitro cellular uptakes of such nanoparticles were investigated by CLSM, demonstrating the fluorescence PLGA-TPGS nanoparticles could be internalized by human cervix carcinoma cells (HeLa). The results also indicated that PLGA-TPGS-based nanoparticles were biocompatible, and the docetaxel-loaded PLGA-TPGS nanoparticles had significant cytotoxicity against Hela cells. The cytotoxicity against HeLa cells for PLGA-TPGS nanoparticles was in time- and concentration-dependent manner. In conclusion, PLGA-TPGS random copolymer could be acted as a novel and promising biocompatible polymeric matrix material applicable to nanoparticle-based drug delivery system for cancer chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC2893931  PMID: 20596457
PLGA-TPGS; Random copolymer; Docetaxel; Nanoparticle; HeLa; Cancer chemotherapy
3.  Polymeric nanoparticles conjugate a novel heptapeptide as an epidermal growth factor receptor-active targeting ligand for doxorubicin 
This study was performed to develop a functional poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide)- poly(ethylene glycol) (PLGA-PEG)-bearing amino-active end group for peptide conjugation.
Methods and results
PLGA was preactivated following by copolymerization with PEG diamine. The resulting amphiphilic PLGA-PEG copolymer bearing 97.0% of amino end groups had a critical micelle concentration of 3.0 × 10−8 mol/L, and the half-effective inhibition concentration (IC50) of the prepared PLGA-PEG nanoparticles was >100 mg/mL, which was much higher than that of PLGA nanoparticles (1.02 ± 0.37 mg/mL). The amphiphilic properties of PLGA-PEG spontaneously formed a core-shell conformation in the aqueous environment, and this special feature provided the amino group on the PEG chain scattered on the surface of PLGA-PEG nanoparticles for efficient peptide conjugation. The peptide-conjugated PLGA-PEG nanoparticles showed three-fold higher uptake than peptide-free PLGA-PEG nanoparticles in a SKOV3 cell line with high expression of epidermal growth factor receptor. Both peptide-conjugated and peptide-free PLGA-PEG nanoparticles were used as nanocarriers for delivery of doxorubicin. Although the rate of release of doxorubicin from both nanoparticles was similar, drug release at pH 4.0 (500 U lipase) was faster than at pH 7.4. The IC50 of doxorubicin-loaded peptide-conjugated PLGA-PEG nanoparticles in SKOV3 cells (0.05 ± 0.03 μg/mL) was much lower (by 62.4-fold) than that of peptide-free PLGA-PEG nanoparticles (3.12 ± 1.44 μg/mL).
This in vivo biodistribution study in SKOV3 tumor-bearing mice was further promising in that accumulation of doxorubicin in tumor tissue was in the order of peptide-conjugated PLGA-PEG nanoparticles > peptide-free PLGA-PEG nanoparticles > doxorubicin solution.
PMCID: PMC3433327  PMID: 22973097
amphiphilic copolymer; peptide; nanoparticles; SKOV3 cell; doxorubicin
4.  Preparation and in vitro evaluation of doxorubicin-loaded Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles modified with biocompatible copolymers 
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are attractive materials that have been widely used in medicine for drug delivery, diagnostic imaging, and therapeutic applications. In our study, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and the anticancer drug, doxorubicin hydrochloride, were encapsulated into poly (D, L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) poly (ethylene glycol) (PLGA-PEG) nanoparticles for local treatment. The magnetic properties conferred by superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles could help to maintain the nanoparticles in the joint with an external magnet.
A series of PLGA:PEG triblock copolymers were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of D, L-lactide and glycolide with different molecular weights of polyethylene glycol (PEG2000, PEG3000, and PEG4000) as an initiator. The bulk properties of these copolymers were characterized using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. In addition, the resulting particles were characterized by x-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and vibrating sample magnetometry.
The doxorubicin encapsulation amount was reduced for PLGA:PEG2000 and PLGA:PEG3000 triblock copolymers, but increased to a great extent for PLGA:PEG4000 triblock copolymer. This is due to the increased water uptake capacity of the blended triblock copolymer, which encapsulated more doxorubicin molecules into a swollen copolymer matrix. The drug encapsulation efficiency achieved for Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles modified with PLGA:PEG2000, PLGA:PEG3000, and PLGA:PEG4000 copolymers was 69.5%, 73%, and 78%, respectively, and the release kinetics were controlled. The in vitro cytotoxicity test showed that the Fe3O4-PLGA:PEG4000 magnetic nanoparticles had no cytotoxicity and were biocompatible.
There is potential for use of these nanoparticles for biomedical application. Future work includes in vivo investigation of the targeting capability and effectiveness of these nanoparticles in the treatment of lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC3273983  PMID: 22334781
superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles; triblock copolymer; doxorubicin encapsulation; water uptake; drug encapsulation efficiency
5.  Endostar-loaded PEG-PLGA nanoparticles: in vitro and in vivo evaluation 
Endostar, a novel recombinant human endostatin, which was approved by the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration in 2005, has a broad spectrum of activity against solid tumors. In this study, we aimed to determine whether the anticancer effect of Endostar is increased by using a nanocarrier system. It is expected that the prolonged circulation of endostar will improve its anticancer activity. Endostar-loaded nanoparticles were prepared to improve controlled release of the drug in mice and rabbits, as well as its anticancer effects in mice with colon cancer. A protein release system could be exploited to act as a drug carrier. Nanoparticles were formulated from poly (ethylene glycol) modified poly (DL-lactide-co-glycolide) (PEG-PLGA) by a double emulsion technique. Physical and release characteristics of endostar-loaded nanoparticles in vitro were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS), and micro bicinchoninic acid protein assay. The pharmacokinetic parameters of endostar nanoparticles in rabbit and mice plasma were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Western blot was used to detect endostatin in different tissues. To study the effects of endostar-loaded nanoparticles in vivo, nude mice in which tumor cells HT-29 were implanted, were subsequently treated with endostar or endostar-loaded PEG-PLGA nanoparticles. Using TEM and PCS, endostar-loaded PEG-PLGA nanoparticles were found to have a spherical core-shell structure with a diameter of 169.56 ± 35.03 nm. Drug-loading capacity was 8.22% ± 2.35% and drug encapsulation was 80.17% ± 7.83%. Compared with endostar, endostar-loaded PEG-PLGA nanoparticles had a longer elimination half-life and lower peak concentration, caused slower growth of tumor cell xenografts, and prolonged tumor doubling times. The nanoparticles changed the pharmacokinetic characteristics of endostar in mice and rabbits, thereby reinforcing anticancer activity. In conclusion, PEG-PLGA nanoparticles are a feasible carrier for endostar. Endostar-loaded PEG-PLGA nanoparticles seem to have a better anticancer effect than conventional endostar. We believe that PEG-PLGA nanoparticles are an effective carrier for protein medicines.
PMCID: PMC3000203  PMID: 21170352
medical physics; biologic physics; nanoparticles
6.  Conjugation of cell-penetrating peptides with poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-polyethylene glycol nanoparticles improves ocular drug delivery 
In this work, a peptide for ocular delivery (POD) and human immunodeficiency virus transactivator were conjugated with biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PGLA)–polyethylene glycol (PEG)-nanoparticles (NPs) in an attempt to improve ocular drug bioavailability. The NPs were prepared by the solvent displacement method following two different pathways. One involved preparation of PLGA NPs followed by PEG and peptide conjugation (PLGA-NPs-PEG-peptide); the other involved self-assembly of PLGA-PEG and the PLGA-PEG-peptide copolymer followed by NP formulation. The conjugation of the PEG and the peptide was confirmed by a colorimetric test and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Flurbiprofen was used as an example of an anti-inflammatory drug. The physicochemical properties of the resulting NPs (morphology, in vitro release, cell viability, and ocular tolerance) were studied. In vivo anti-inflammatory efficacy was assessed in rabbit eyes after topical instillation of sodium arachidonate. Of the formulations developed, the PLGA-PEG-POD NPs were the smaller particles and exhibited greater entrapment efficiency and more sustained release. The positive charge on the surface of these NPs, due to the conjugation with the positively charged peptide, facilitated penetration into the corneal epithelium, resulting in more effective prevention of ocular inflammation. The in vitro toxicity of the NPs developed was very low; no ocular irritation in vitro (hen’s egg test–chorioallantoic membrane assay) or in vivo (Draize test) was detected. Taken together, these data demonstrate that PLGA-PEG-POD NPs are promising vehicles for ocular drug delivery.
PMCID: PMC4315550
peptide for ocular delivery; flurbiprofen; controlled release; ocular tolerance; anti-inflammatory
7.  Enhanced antibacterial activity of roxithromycin loaded pegylated poly lactide-co-glycolide nanoparticles 
Background and the purpose of the study
The purpose of this study was to prepare pegylated poly lactide-co-glycolide (PEG-PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with roxithromycin (RXN) with appropriate physicochemical properties and antibacterial activity. Roxithromycin, a semi-synthetic derivative of erythromycin, is more stable than erythromycin under acidic conditions and exhibits improved clinical effects.
RXN was loaded in pegylated PLGA NPs in different drug;polymer ratios by solvent evaporation technique and characterized for their size and size distribution, surface charge, surface morphology, drug loading, in vitro drug release profile, and in vitro antibacterial effects on S. aureus, B. subtilis, and S. epidermidis.
Results and conclusion
NPs were spherical with a relatively mono-dispersed size distribution. The particle size of nanoparticles ranged from 150 to 200 nm. NPs with entrapment efficiency of up to 80.0±6.5% and drug loading of up to 13.0±1.0% were prepared. In vitro release study showed an early burst release of about 50.03±0.99% at 6.5 h and then a slow and steady release of RXN was observed after the burst release. In vitro antibacterial effects determined that the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of RXN loaded PEG-PLGA NPs were 9 times lower on S. aureus, 4.5 times lower on B. subtilis, and 4.5 times lower on S. epidermidis compared to RXN solution. In conclusion it was shown that polymeric NPs enhanced the antibacterial efficacy of RXN substantially.
PMCID: PMC3607925  PMID: 23351784
Roxithromycin; PLGA; Pegylation; Nanoparticles; Antibacterial
8.  Preparation and in vitro characterization of 9-nitrocamptothecin-loaded long circulating nanoparticles for delivery in cancer patients 
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.
PMCID: PMC2950404  PMID: 20957168
long circulating nanoparticle; 9-nitrocamptothecin; in vitro characterization
9.  Biological evaluation of 5-fluorouracil nanoparticles for cancer chemotherapy and its dependence on the carrier, PLGA 
Nanoscaled devices have great potential for drug delivery applications due to their small size. In the present study, we report for the first time the preparation and evaluation of antitumor efficacy of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-entrapped poly (D, L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles with dependence on the lactide/glycolide combination of PLGA. 5-FU-loaded PLGA nanoparticles with two different monomer combinations, 50-50 and 90-10 were synthesized using a modified double emulsion method, and their biological evaluation was done in glioma (U87MG) and breast adenocarcinoma (MCF7) cell lines. 5-FU-entrapped PLGA 50-50 nanoparticles showed smaller size with a high encapsulation efficiency of 66%, which was equivalent to that of PLGA 90-10 nanoparticles. Physicochemical characterization of nanoparticles using differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction suggested the presence of 5-FU in molecular dispersion form. In vitro release studies showed the prolonged and sustained release of 5-FU from nanoparticles with both the PLGA combinations, where PLGA 50-50 nanoparticles showed faster release. Nanoparticles with PLGA 50-50 combination exhibited better cytotoxicity than free drug in a dose- and time-dependent manner against both the tumor cell lines. The enhanced efficiency of PLGA 50-50 nanoparticles to induce apoptosis was indicated by acridine orange/ethidium bromide staining. Cell cycle perturbations studied using flow cytometer showed better S-phase arrest by nanoparticles in comparison with free 5-FU. All the results indicate that PLGA 50-50 nanoparticles possess better antitumor efficacy than PLGA 90-10 nanoparticles and free 5-FU. Since, studies have shown that long-term exposure of ailing tissues to moderate drug concentrations is more favorable than regular administration of higher concentration of the drug; our results clearly indicate the potential of 5-FU-loaded PLGA nanoparticles with dependence on carrier combination as controlled release formulation to multiplex the therapeutic effect of cancer chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3184929  PMID: 21980233
5-FU; poly (D, L-lactic-co-glycolic acid); controlled release
10.  Suitable carriers for encapsulation and distribution of endostar: comparison of endostar-loaded particulate carriers 
Particulate carriers are necessary to control the release of endostar and prolong its circulation in vivo. The purpose of this study was to identify a suitable carrier for the capsulation and delivery of endostar.
We prepared a series of poly (DL-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG)-modified PLGA (PEG-PLGA) particulate carriers, and then characterized them according to their ability to prolong the circulation of endostar, their physicochemical properties, endostar-loading content, and in vitro and in vivo particulate carrier release profiles.
All the particulate carriers had spherical core shell structures. The PEG-PLGA material and nanosize range appeared to enable the carriers to encapsulate more endostar, release endostar faster in vitro, and accumulate more endostar in vivo. The drug loading capacity of PEG-PLGA and PLGA nanoparticles was 8.03% ± 3.41% and 3.27% ± 5.26%, respectively, and for PEG-PLGA and PLGA microspheres was 15.32% ± 5.61% and 9.21% ± 4.73%. The cumulative amount of endostar released from the carriers in phosphate-buffered saline over 21 days was 23.79%, 20.45%, 15.13%, and 10.41%, respectively. Moreover, the terminal elimination half-life of endostar in the rabbit was 26.91 ± 7.93 hours and 9.32 ± 5.53 hours in the PEG-PLGA group and the PLGA nanoparticle group. Peak endostar concentration was reached at day 7 in the group treated with subcutaneous injection of PEG-PLGA microspheres and at day 14 in the group receiving subcutaneous injection of PLGA microspheres. Endostar was detectable in vivo in both groups after injection of the particulate carriers.
PEG-PLGA nanoparticles might be better than other nanoparticulate carriers for encapsulation and distribution of endostar.
PMCID: PMC3152471  PMID: 21845043
poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide); nanoparticle; microsphere; endostar; peptide delivery
11.  Polymeric Nanoparticles for siRNA Delivery and Gene Silencing 
International journal of pharmaceutics  2008;367(1-2):195-203.
Gene silencing using small interfering RNA (siRNA) has several potential therapeutic applications. In the present study, we investigated nanoparticles formulated using the biodegradable polymer, poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) for siRNA delivery. A cationic polymer, polyethylenimine (PEI), was incorporated in the PLGA matrix to improve siRNA encapsulation in PLGA nanoparticles. PLGA-PEI nanoparticles were formulated using double emulsion-solvent evaporation technique and characterized for siRNA encapsulation and in vitro release. The effectiveness of siRNA-loaded PLGA-PEI nanoparticles in silencing a model gene, fire fly luciferase, was investigated in cell culture. Presence of PEI in PLGA nanoparticle matrix increased siRNA encapsulation by about 2-fold and also improved the siRNA release profile. PLGA-PEI nanoparticles carrying luciferase-targeted siRNA enabled effective silencing of the gene in cells stably expressing luciferase as well as in cells that could be induced to overexpress the gene. Quantitative studies indicated that presence of PEI in PLGA nanoparticles resulted in 2-fold higher cellular uptake of nanoparticles while fluorescence microscopy studies showed that PLGA-PEI nanoparticles delivered the encapsulated siRNA in the cellular cytoplasm; both higher uptake and greater cytosolic delivery could have contributed to the gene silencing effectiveness of PLGA-PEI nanoparticles. Serum stability and lack of cytotoxicity further add to the potential of PLGA-PEI nanoparticles in gene silencing-based therapeutic applications.
PMCID: PMC2660441  PMID: 18940242
RNA interference; siRNA; poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide); luciferase; sustained release
12.  Cellular delivery of PEGylated PLGA nanoparticles 
The objective of this study was to investigate the efficiency of uptake of PEGylated polylactide-co-gycolide (PLGA) nanoparticles by breast cancer cells.
Nanoparticles of PLGA containing various amounts of polyethylene glycol (PEG, 5%–15%) were prepared using a double emulsion solvent evaporation method. The nanoparticles were loaded with coumarin-6 (C6) as a fluorescence marker. The particles were characterized for surface morphology, particle size, zeta potential, and for cellular uptake by 4T1 murine breast cancer cells.
Key findings
Irrespective of the amount of PEG, all formulations yielded smooth spherical particles. However, a comparison of the particle size of various formulations showed bimodal distribution of particles. Each formulation was later passed through a 1.2 μm filter to obtain target size particles (114–335 nm) with zeta potentials ranging from −2.8 mV to −26.2 mV. While PLGA-PEG di-block (15% PEG) formulation showed significantly higher 4T1 cellular uptake than all other formulations, there was no statistical difference in cellular uptake among PLGA, PLGA-PEG-PLGA tri-block (10% PEG), PLGA-PEG di-block (5% PEG) and PLGA-PEG di-block (10% PEG) nanoparticles.
These preliminary findings indicated that the nanoparticle formulation prepared with 15% PEGylated PLGA showed maximum cellular uptake due to it having the smallest particle size and lowest zeta potential.
PMCID: PMC3319145  PMID: 22150673
4T1 murine breast cancer cell line; cellular uptake; di-block copolymer; nanoparticles; tri-block copolymer
13.  Effect of formulation parameters on 2-methoxyestradiol release from injectable cylindrical poly(dl-lactide-co-glycolide) implants 
The objective of this study was to investigate the potential of various formulation strategies to achieve 1-month continuous (improved) release of the novel anti-cancer drug, 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME), from injectable cylindrical poly(dl-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) implants. PLGA implants were prepared by a solvent extrusion method. PLGA 50:50 (Mw = 51 kDa, end group = lauryl ester) (PLGA–lauryl ester) implants loaded with 3–30 wt% 2-ME exhibited a pronounced lag phase (i.e., corresponding to induction time to polymer mass loss) and triphasic release profile. Incorporation of 5 wt% hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) (~57% release after 28 days) or Pluronic® F127 (~42% release after 28 days) in PLGA–lauryl ester implants reduced the lag-phase and improved the drug release moderately over a period of 28 days. The formation and the incorporation of a 2-ME/polyethylene glycol (PEG) 8000 solid dispersion in PLGA–lauryl ester implants further increased drug release (~21% and 73% release after 1 and 28 days, respectively), attributable to improved drug solubility/dissolution, higher matrix porosity, and accelerated polymer degradation. Blending of PLGA 50:50 (Mw = 24 kDa, end group = COOH) (PLGA–COOH) with the PLGA–lauryl ester also provided moderate enhancement of 2-ME release over a period of 28 days. PLGA–COOH (Mw = 24 kDa) implants with 3–5% w/w pore-forming MgCO3 exhibited the most desirable drug release among all the formulations tested, and, demonstrated 1-month slow and continuous in vitro release of ~80% 2-ME after a minimal initial burst. Hence, these formulation approaches provide several possible avenues to improve release rates of the hydrophobic drug, 2-ME, from PLGA for future application in regional anti-cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC2884995  PMID: 18472254
2-Methoxyestradiol; Controlled drug release; Cylindrical PLGA injectable implants; Effect of water soluble additives; Solid dispersion; Polymer blending; Effect of MgCO3
14.  Encapsulation of Alpha-1 antitrypsin in PLGA nanoparticles: In Vitro characterization as an effective aerosol formulation in pulmonary diseases 
Alpha 1- antitrypsin (α1AT) belongs to the superfamily of serpins and inhibits different proteases. α1AT protects the lung from cellular inflammatory enzymes. In the absence of α1AT, the degradation of lung tissue results to pulmonary complications. The pulmonary route is a potent noninvasive route for systemic and local delivery. The aerosolized α1AT not only affects locally its main site of action but also avoids remaining in circulation for a long period of time in peripheral blood. Poly (D, L lactide-co glycolide) (PLGA) is a biodegradable and biocompatible polymer approved for sustained controlled release of peptides and proteins. The aim of this work was to prepare a wide range of particle size as a carrier of protein-loaded nanoparticles to deposit in different parts of the respiratory system especially in the deep lung. Various lactide to glycolide ratio of the copolymer was used to obtain different release profile of the drug which covers extended and rapid drug release in one formulation.
Nonaqueous and double emulsion techniques were applied for the synthesis of nanoparticles. Nanoparticles were characterized in terms of surface morphology, size distribution, powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), encapsulation efficiency, in vitro drug release, FTIR spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). To evaluate the nanoparticles cytotoxicity, cell cytotoxicity test was carried out on the Cor L105 human epithelial lung cancer cell line.
Nanoparticles were spherical with an average size in the range of 100 nm to 1μ. The encapsulation efficiency was found to be higher when the double emulsion technique was applied. XRD and DSC results indicated that α1AT encapsulated in the nanoparticles existed in an amorphous or disordered-crystalline status in the polymer matrix. The lactic acid to glycolic acid ratio affects the release profile of α1AT. Hence, PLGA with a 50:50 ratios exhibited the ability to release %60 of the drug within 8, but the polymer with a ratio of 75:25 had a continuous and longer release profile. Cytotoxicity studies showed that nanoparticles do not affect cell growth and were not toxic to cells.
In summary, α1AT-loaded nanoparticles may be considered as a novel formulation for efficient treatment of many pulmonary diseases.
PMCID: PMC3485170  PMID: 22607686
Cytotoxicity; DSC (differential scanning calorimetry); FTIR; Nanoparticle; Sustained drug release; XRD (x-ray diffraction)
15.  Development of Yersinia pestis F1 antigen-loaded microspheres vaccine against plague 
Yersinia pestis F1 antigen-loaded poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide)/polyethylene glycol (PEG) (PLGA/PEG) microspheres were produced using a water-in-oil-in-water emulsion/solvent extraction technique and assayed for their percent yield, entrapment efficiency, surface morphology, particle size, zeta potential, in vitro release properties, and in vivo animal protect efficacy. The Y. pestis F1 antigen-loaded microspheres (mean particle size 3.8 μm) exhibited a high loading capacity (4.5% w/w), yield (85.2%), and entrapment efficiency (38.1%), and presented a controlled in vitro release profile with a low initial burst (18.5%), then continued to release Y. pestis F1 antigen over 70 days. The distribution (%) of Y. pestis F1 on the microspheres surface, outer layer, and core was 3.1%, 28.9%, and 60.7%, respectively. A steady release rate was noticed to be 0.55 μg Y. pestis F1 antigen/mg microspheres/day of Y. pestis F1 antigen release maintained for 42 days. The cumulative release amount at the 1st, 28th, and 42nd days was 8.2, 26.7, and 31.0 μg Y. pestis F1 antigen/mg microspheres, respectively. The 100 times median lethal dose 50% (LD50) of Y. pestis Yokohama-R strain by intraperitoneal injection challenge in mice test, in which mice received one dose of 40 μg F1 antigen content of PLGA/PEG microspheres, F1 antigen in Al(OH)3, and in comparison with F1 antigen in Al(OH)3 vaccine in two doses, was evaluated after given by subcutaneous immunization of BALB/c mice. The study results show that the greatest survival was observed in the group of mice immunized with one dose of F1 antigen-loaded PLGA/PEG microspheres, and two doses of F1 antigen in Al(OH)3 vaccine (100%). In vivo vaccination studies also demonstrated that F1 vaccines microspheres had a protective ability; its steady-state IgG immune protection in mice plasma dramatic increased from 2 weeks (18,764±3,124) to 7 weeks (126,468±19,176) after vaccination. These findings strongly suggest that F1-antigen loaded microspheres vaccine offer a new therapeutic strategy in optimizing the vaccine incorporation and delivery properties of these potential vaccine targeting carriers.
PMCID: PMC3926461  PMID: 24550673
PLGA; immunological; protective responses
16.  Process and formulation variables in the preparation of injectable and biodegradable magnetic microspheres 
The aim of this study was to prepare biodegradable sustained release magnetite microspheres sized between 1 to 2 μm. The microspheres with or without magnetic materials were prepared by a W/O/W double emulsion solvent evaporation technique using poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) as the biodegradable matrix forming polymer. Effects of manufacturing and formulation variables on particle size were investigated with non-magnetic microspheres. Microsphere size could be controlled by modification of homogenization speed, PLGA concentration in the oil phase, oil phase volume, solvent composition, and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) concentration in the outer water phase. Most influential were the agitation velocity and all parameters that influence the kinematic viscosity of oil and outer water phase, specifically the type and concentration of the oil phase. The magnetic component yielding homogeneous magnetic microspheres consisted of magnetite nanoparticles of 8 nm diameter stabilized with a polyethylene glycole/polyacrylic acid (PEG/PAA) coating and a saturation magnetization of 47.8 emu/g. Non-magnetic and magnetic microspheres had very similar size, morphology, and size distribution, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. The optimized conditions yielded microspheres with 13.7 weight% of magnetite and an average diameter of 1.37 μm. Such biodegradable magnetic microspheres seem appropriate for vascular administration followed by magnetic drug targeting.
PMCID: PMC1863415  PMID: 17407608
17.  Enhanced activity of doxorubicin in drug resistant A549 tumor cells by encapsulation of P-glycoprotein inhibitor in PLGA-based nanovectors 
Oncology Letters  2013;7(2):387-392.
Effective chemotherapy remains an important issue in the treatment of drug resistant cancer. The aim of the present study was to establish novel polymeric nanoparticles composed of the antitumor drug, doxorubicin (DOX), and an inhibitor of the drug efflux pump-associated protein, P-glycoprotein (P-gp), in order to overcome drug resistance in tumor cells. Poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), DOX-loaded PLGA (PLGA-DOX), P-gp inhibitor (cyclosporin A; CsA)-coated PLGA (PLGA-CsA) and DOX and CsA co-loaded PLGA (PLGA-DOX-CsA) nanoparticles were prepared using solvent evaporation. The size distribution, ζ potential and electron microscopy observations of the nanoparticles were characterized. Accumulation and efflux assays were performed using confocal and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and the pump activity of P-gp was detected through FACS. The uptake of the nanoparticles and the viability of Taxol-resistant A549 cells treated with various nanoparticles were analyzed via FACS in vitro. Furthermore, the tumor growth and survival rates of A549-Taxol-bearing mice were monitored in vivo. Prepared particles were nanosized and the efflux rates of PLGA-DOX and PLGA-DOX-CsA were significantly decreased compared with the free DOX. Drug efflux pump activity was effectively inhibited by the PLGA-CsA and PLGA-DOX-CsA groups compared with the PLGA, PLGA-DOX and free DOX groups. Cell viability results demonstrated that PLGA-DOX and PLGA-DOX-CsA induced the increased death of A549-Taxol cells. In vivo tumor models demonstrated that PLGA-DOX and PLGA-DOX-CsA markedly inhibited the tumor growth and improved the survival rate of A549-Taxol-bearing mice. Antitumor drug and drug efflux pump inhibitor co-loaded nanoparticles offer advantages to overcome the drug resistance of tumors and highlight new therapeutic strategies to control drug resistant tumors.
PMCID: PMC3881930  PMID: 24396453
poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles; drug resistance; efflux pump; P-glycoprotein
18.  Immunosuppressive Activity of Size-Controlled PEG-PLGA Nanoparticles Containing Encapsulated Cyclosporine A 
Journal of Transplantation  2012;2012:896141.
We encapsulated cyclosporine A (CsA) in poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PEG-PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) by nanoprecipitation of CsA and PEG-PLGA. The resulting CsA/PEG-PLGA-NPs were <100 nm in diameter with a narrow particle size distribution. The NP size could be controlled by tuning the polymer concentration, solvent, or water/solvent ratio during formulation. The PEGylated NPs maintained non-aggregated in salt solution. Solid NPs lyoprotected with bovine serum albumin were prepared for the convenience of storage and transportation. The release kinetics of CsA (55.6% released on Day 1) showed potential for maintaining therapeutic CsA concentrations in vivo. In T-cell assays, both free CsA and CsA/PEG-PLGA-NPs suppressed T-cell proliferation and production of inflammatory cytokines dose dependently. In a mixed lymphocyte reaction assay, the IC50 values for free CsA and CsA/PEG-PLGA-NPs were found to be 30 and 35 ng/mL, respectively. This nanoparticulate CsA delivery technology constitutes a strong basis for future targeted delivery of immunosuppressive drugs with improved efficiency and potentially reduced toxicity.
PMCID: PMC3321582  PMID: 22545201
19.  Improved drug loading and antibacterial activity of minocycline-loaded PLGA nanoparticles prepared by solid/oil/water ion pairing method 
Low drug entrapment efficiency of hydrophilic drugs into poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles is a major drawback. The objective of this work was to investigate different methods of producing PLGA nanoparticles containing minocycline, a drug suitable for periodontal infections.
Different methods, such as single and double solvent evaporation emulsion, ion pairing, and nanoprecipitation were used to prepare both PLGA and PEGylated PLGA nanoparticles. The resulting nanoparticles were analyzed for their morphology, particle size and size distribution, drug loading and entrapment efficiency, thermal properties, and antibacterial activity.
The nanoparticles prepared in this study were spherical, with an average particle size of 85–424 nm. The entrapment efficiency of the nanoparticles prepared using different methods was as follows: solid/oil/water ion pairing (29.9%) > oil/oil (5.5%) > water/oil/water (4.7%) > modified oil/water (4.1%) > nano precipitation (0.8%). Addition of dextran sulfate as an ion pairing agent, acting as an ionic spacer between PEGylated PLGA and minocycline, decreased the water solubility of minocycline, hence increasing the drug entrapment efficiency. Entrapment efficiency was also increased when low molecular weight PLGA and high molecular weight dextran sulfate was used. Drug release studies performed in phosphate buffer at pH 7.4 indicated slow release of minocycline from 3 days to several weeks. On antibacterial analysis, the minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration of nanoparticles was at least two times lower than that of the free drug.
Novel minocycline-PEGylated PLGA nanoparticles prepared by the ion pairing method had the best drug loading and entrapment efficiency compared with other prepared nanoparticles. They also showed higher in vitro antibacterial activity than the free drug.
PMCID: PMC3263414  PMID: 22275837
nanoparticle; PEGylation; PLGA; ion pairing; minocycline; antibacterial
20.  Novel docetaxel-loaded nanoparticles based on poly(lactide-co-caprolactone) and poly(lactide-co-glycolide-co-caprolactone) for prostate cancer treatment: formulation, characterization, and cytotoxicity studies 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):260.
Docetaxel (Dtx) chemotherapy is the optional treatment in patients with hormone-refractory metastatic prostate cancer, and Dtx-loaded polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) have the potential to induce durable clinical responses. However, alternative formulations are needed to overcome the serious side effects, also due to the adjuvant used, and to improve the clinical efficacy of the drug.
In the present study, two novel biodegradable block-copolymers, poly(lactide-co-caprolactone) (PLA-PCL) and poly(lactide-co-caprolactone-co-glycolide) (PLGA-PCL), were explored for the formulation of Dtx-loaded NPs and compared with PLA- and PLGA-NPs. The nanosystems were prepared by an original nanoprecipitation method, using Pluronic F-127 as surfactant agent, and were characterized in terms of morphology, size distribution, encapsulation efficiency, crystalline structure, and in vitro release. To evaluate the potential anticancer efficacy of a nanoparticulate system, in vitro cytotoxicity studies on human prostate cancer cell line (PC3) were carried out. NPs were found to be of spherical shape with an average diameter in the range of 100 to 200 nm and a unimodal particle size distribution. Dtx was incorporated into the PLGA-PCL NPs with higher (p < 0.05) encapsulation efficiency than that of other polymers. Differential scanning calorimetry suggested that Dtx was molecularly dispersed in the polymeric matrices. In vitro drug release study showed that release profiles of Dtx varied on the bases of characteristics of polymers used for formulation. PLA-PCL and PLGA-PCL drug loaded NPs shared an overlapping release profiles, and are able to release about 90% of drug within 6 h, when compared with PLA- and PLGA-NPs. Moreover, cytotoxicity studies demonstrated advantages of the Dtx-loaded PLGA-PCL NPs over pure Dtx in both time- and concentration-dependent manner. In particular, an increase of 20% of PC3 growth inhibition was determined by PLGA-PCL NPs with respect to free drug after 72 h incubation and at all tested Dtx concentration. In summary, PLGA-PCL copolymer may be considered as an attractive and promising polymeric material for the formulation of Dtx NPs as delivery system for prostate cancer treatment, and can also be pursued as a validated system in a more large context.
PMCID: PMC3211323  PMID: 21711774
21.  Preparation and Investigation of Sustained Drug Delivery Systems Using an Injectable, Thermosensitive, In Situ Forming Hydrogel Composed of PLGA–PEG–PLGA 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2012;13(2):590-600.
In situ gelling systems are very attractive for pharmaceutical applications due to their biodegradability and simple manufacturing processes. The synthesis and characterization of thermosensitive poly(d,l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)–polyethylene glycol (PEG)–PLGA triblock copolymers as in situ gelling matrices were investigated in this study as a drug delivery system. Ring-opening polymerization using microwave irradiation was utilized as a novel technique, and the results were compared with those using a conventional method of polymerization. The phase transition temperature and the critical micelle concentration (CMC) of the copolymer solutions were determined by differential scanning calorimetry and spectrophotometry, respectively. The size of the micelles was determined with a light scattering method. In vitro drug release studies were carried out using naltrexone hydrochloride and vitamin B12 as model drugs. The rate and yield of the copolymerization process via microwave irradiation were higher than those of the conventional method. The copolymer structure and concentration played critical roles in controlling the sol–gel transition temperature, the CMC, and the size of the nanomicelles in the copolymer solutions. The rate of drug release could be modulated by the molecular weight of the drugs, the concentration of the copolymers, and their structures in the formulations. The amount of release versus time followed zero-order release kinetics for vitamin B12 over 25 days, in contrast to the Higuchi modeling for naltrexone hydrochloride over a period of 17 days. In conclusion, PLGA–PEG1500–PLGA with a lactide-to-glycolide ratio of 5:1 is an ideal system for the long-acting, controlled release of naltrexone hydrochloride and vitamin B12.
PMCID: PMC3364385  PMID: 22528547
hydrogel; naltrexone; PLGA–PEG–PLGA; thermosensitive; triblock copolymer; vitamin B12
22.  Formulation of polylactide-co-glycolic acid nanospheres for encapsulation and sustained release of poly(ethylene imine)-poly(ethylene glycol) copolymers complexed to oligonucleotides 
Antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) have been shown to induce dystrophin expression in muscles cells of patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and in the mdx mouse, the murine model of DMD. However, ineffective delivery of AOs limits their therapeutic potential. Copolymers of cationic poly(ethylene imine) (PEI) and non-ionic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) form stable nanoparticles when complexed with AOs, but the positive surface charge on the resultant PEG-PEI-AO nanoparticles limits their biodistribution. We adapted a modified double emulsion procedure for encapsulating PEG-PEI-AO polyplexes into degradable polylactide-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) nanospheres. Formulation parameters were varied including PLGA molecular weight, ester end-capping, and sonication energy/volume. Our results showed successful encapsulation of PEG-PEI-AO within PLGA nanospheres with average diameters ranging from 215 to 240 nm. Encapsulation efficiency ranged from 60 to 100%, and zeta potential measurements confirmed shielding of the PEG-PEI-AO cationic charge. Kinetic measurements of 17 kDa PLGA showed a rapid burst release of about 20% of the PEG-PEI-AO, followed by sustained release of up to 65% over three weeks. To evaluate functionality, PEG-PEI-AO polyplexes were loaded into PLGA nanospheres using an AO that is known to induce dystrophin expression in dystrophic mdx mice. Intramuscular injections of this compound into mdx mice resulted in over 300 dystrophin-positive muscle fibers distributed throughout the muscle cross-sections, approximately 3.4 times greater than for injections of AO alone. We conclude that PLGA nanospheres are effective compounds for the sustained release of PEG-PEI-AO polyplexes in skeletal muscle and concomitant expression of dystrophin, and may have translational potential in treating DMD.
PMCID: PMC2671478  PMID: 19351396
23.  Docetaxel immunonanocarriers as targeted delivery systems for HER 2-positive tumor cells: preparation, characterization, and cytotoxicity studies 
The objective of this study was to develop pegylated poly lactide-co-glycolide acid (PLGA) immunonanocarriers for targeting delivery of docetaxel to human breast cancer cells.
The polyethylene glycol (PEG) groups on the surface of the PLGA nanoparticles were functionalized using maleimide groups. Trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody against human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) antigens of cancer cells, used as the targeting moiety, was attached to the maleimide groups on the surface of pegylated PLGA nanoparticles. Nanoparticles prepared by a nanoprecipitation method were characterized for their size, size distribution, surface charge, surface morphology, drug-loading, and in vitro drug release profile.
The average size of the trastuzumab-decorated nanoparticles was 254 ± 16.4 nm and their zeta potential was −11.5 ± 1.4 mV. The average size of the nontargeted PLGA nanoparticles was 183 ± 22 nm and their zeta potential was −2.6 ± 0.34 mV. The cellular uptake of nanoparticles was studied using both HER2-positive (SKBR3 and BT-474) and HER2-negative (Calu-6) cell lines.
The cytotoxicity of the immunonanocarriers against HER2-positive cell lines was significantly higher than that of nontargeted PLGA nanoparticles and free docetaxel.
PMCID: PMC3173052  PMID: 21931485
nanoparticles; drug targeting; immunonanocarriers; trastuzumab; docetaxel; PLGA; HER2 receptor
24.  Biodegradable mucus-penetrating nanoparticles composed of diblock copolymers of polyethylene glycol and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) 
Drug delivery and translational research  2012;2(2):10.1007/s13346-011-0048-9.
Mucus secretions coating entry points to the human body that are not covered by skin efficiently trap and clear conventional drug carriers, limiting controlled drug delivery at mucosal surfaces. To overcome this challenge, we recently engineered nanoparticles that readily penetrate a variety of human mucus secretions, which we termed mucus-penetrating particles (MPP). Here, we report a new biodegradable MPP formulation based on diblock copolymers of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PLGA-PEG). PLGA-PEG nanoparticles prepared by a solvent diffusion method rapidly diffused through fresh, undiluted human cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) with an average speed only eightfold lower than their theoretical speed in water. In contrast, PLGA nanoparticles were slowed more than 12,000-fold in the same CVM secretions. Based on the measured diffusivities, as much as 75% of the PLGA-PEG nanoparticles are expected to penetrate a 10-μm-thick mucus layer within 30 min, whereas virtually no PLGA nanoparticles are expected to do so over the same duration. These results encourage further development of PLGA-PEG nanoparticles as mucus-penetrating drug carriers for improved drug and gene delivery to mucosal surfaces.
PMCID: PMC3818113  PMID: 24205449
Drug delivery; Human mucus; Mucus-penetrating particles
25.  Docetaxel Loaded PEG-PLGA Nanoparticles: Optimized Drug Loading, In-vitro Cytotoxicity and In-vivo Antitumor Effect  
In this study a 3-factor, 3-level Box-Behnken design was used to prepare optimized docetaxel (DTX) loaded pegylated poly lactide-co-glycolide (PEG-PLGA) Nanoparticles (NPs) with polymer concentration (X1), drug concentration (X2) and ratio of the organic to aqueous solvent (X3) as the independent variables and particle size (Y1), poly dispersity index (PDI) (Y2) and drug loading (Y3) as the responses. The cytotoxicity of optimized DTX loaded PEG-PLGA NPs was studied in SKOV3 tumor cell lines by standard MTT assay. The in-vivo antitumor efficacy of DTX loaded PLGA-PEG NPs was assessed in tumor bearing female BALB/c mice. The optimum level of Y1, Y2 and Y3 predicted by the model were 188 nm, 0.16 and 9% respectively with perfect agreement with the experimental data. The in-vitro release profile of optimum formulation showed a burst release of approximately 20% (w/w) followed by a sustained release profile of the loaded drug over 288 h. The DTX loaded optimized nanoparticles showed a greater cytotoxicity against SKOV3 cancer cells than free DTX. Enhanced tumor-suppression effects were achieved with DTX-loaded PEG-PLGA NPs. These results demonstrated that optimized NPs could be a potentially useful delivery system for DTX as an anticancer agent.
PMCID: PMC4177642  PMID: 25276182
PLGA; Nanoparticles; Docetaxel; Anti-tumor; Pegylation; Experimental design; Box-Behnken

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