Background: Tamoxifen is widely used for the treatment of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. However, it is associated with severe side effects of cancerous proliferation on the uterus endometrium. The tumor-targeting formulation strategies can effectively overcome drug side effects of tamoxifen and provide safer drug treatment.
Objective: This study aimed to design tumor-targeted PLGA nanoparticles of tamoxifen by attaching hyaluronic acid (HA) as a ligand to actively target the CD44 receptors present at breast cancer cells surface.
Methods: PLGA-PEG-HA conjugate was synthesized in the laboratory, and its tamoxifen-loaded nanoparticles were fabricated and characterized by FTIR, NMR, DSC, and XRD analysis. Formulation optimization was done by Box-Behnken design using Design-Expert software. The formulations were evaluated for in vitro drug release and cytotoxic effect on MCF-7 cell lines.
Results: The particle size, PDI, and drug encapsulation efficiency of optimized nanoparticles were 294.8, 0.626, and 65.16%, respectively. Optimized formulation showed 9.56% burst release and sustained drug release for 8h. The drug release was affected by non-Fickian diffusion process and supplemented further by the erosion of polymeric matrix which followed the Korsmeyer-Peppas model. MTT cell line assay showed 47.48% cell mortality when treated with tamoxifen-loaded PLGA- PEG-HA nanoparticles.
Conclusion: Hyaluronic acid conjugated PLGA-PEG nanoparticles of tamoxifen were designed for active targeting to cancerous breast cells. The results of the MTT assay showed that tamoxifen nanoparticles formulation was more cytotoxic than tamoxifen drug alone, which is attributed to their preferential uptake by cell lines by the affinity of CD44 receptors of cell lines to HA ligand present in nanoparticles.
Keywords: PLGA-PEG-HA, tamoxifen nanoparticles, tamoxifen, hyaluronic acid attached tumor-targeted nanoparticles, ligand attached PLGA-PEG-HA nanoparticles, targeted delivery of tamoxifen, tamoxifen loaded tumor-targeted nanoparticle formulation development.