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Biomaterials. 2006 Mar;27(9):2051-9. Epub 2005 Nov 22.

Paclitaxel-loaded poly(gamma-glutamic acid)-poly(lactide) nanoparticles as a targeted drug delivery system for the treatment of liver cancer.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan, ROC.


The study was to develop paclitaxel-loaded formulations using a novel type of self-assembled nanoparticles (P/NPs) composed of block copolymers synthesized by poly(gamma-glutamic acid) and poly(lactide). For the potential of targeting liver cancer cells, galactosamine was conjugated on the prepared nanoparticles (Gal-P/NPs). In the in vitro studies, it was found that both the P/NPs and the Gal-P/NPs had a similar release profile of paclitaxel. The activity in inhibiting the growth of HepG2 cells by the Gal-P/NPs was comparable to that of a clinically available paclitaxel formulation (Phyxol), while the P/NPs displayed a significantly less activity (p<0.05). The biodistribution and anti-tumor efficacy of the prepared nanoparticles were studied in hepatoma-tumor-bearing nude mice. It was found that the groups injected with Phyxol, the P/NPs or the Gal-P/NPs significantly delayed the tumor growth as compared to the control group injected with PBS (p<0.05). Among all studied groups, the group injected with the Gal-P/NPs appeared to have the most significant efficacy in the reduction of the size of the tumor. This is because a large number of the Gal-P/NPs were observed at the tumor site, and subsequently released their encapsulated paclitaxel to inhibit the growth of the tumor. The aforementioned results indicated that the Gal-P/NPs prepared in the study had a specific interaction with the hepatoma tumor induced in nude mice via ligand-receptor recognition. Therefore, the prepared Gal-P/NPs may be used as a potential drug delivery system for the targeted delivery to liver cancers.

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