The treatment of brain cancer is still challenging for an oncologist due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) which inhibits the entry of more than 98 per cent of drugs used during the treatment of brain disease. The cytotoxic drugs used in chemotherapy for brain cancer treatment also affect the normal cells due to lack of targeting. Therefore, the objective of the study was to develop tween 80-coated solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) loaded with folic acid-doxorubicin (FAD) conjugate for site-specific drug delivery to brain cancer cells.
The FAD conjugate was synthesized by the conjugation of folic acid with doxorubicin and characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. SLNs loaded with FAD were prepared by the solvent injection method. The SLNs were characterized by the particle size, zeta potential, surface morphology, entrapment efficiency, etc.
The average particle size of FAD conjugate-loaded SLNs (SLN-C) was found to be 220.4±2.2 nm, with 36.2±0.6 per cent entrapment efficiency. The cytotoxicity and cellular uptake were determined on U87 MG cell lines. Half maximal inhibitory concentration value of the SLN-C was found to be 2.5 μg/ml, which confirmed the high antitumour activity against brain cancer cells.
The cell line studies confirmed the cytotoxicity and internalization of SLN-C in U87 MG brain cancer cells. The results confirmed that tween 80-coated SLNs have the potential to deliver the doxorubicin selectively in the brain cancer cells.