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J Drug Target. 2011 Feb;19(2):104-13. doi: 10.3109/10611861003733987. Epub 2010 Apr 1.

Hydrophobically modified carboxymethyl chitosan nanoparticles targeted delivery of paclitaxel.

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Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, West Bengal, India.


Specific targeting of tumor cells to achieve higher drug levels in tumor tissue and to overcome the side effects is the major goal in cancer therapy. Nanoparticles encapsulating a hydrophobic core in their nanoreservoir structure were developed as a carrier for a water-insoluble drug, paclitaxel. In the present study, target-oriented nanoparticles based on biodegradable O-carboxymethyl chitosan modified with stearic acid. The surface of the nanoparticles was modified by covalent attachment of folic acid (FA) by simple carbodimide reaction to achieve tumor cell targeting property. Nanoparticles were prepared by the sonication method without involving any surfactants/emulsifiers. The nanoparticles were characterized by various state-of-the-art techniques, including laser light scattering for particles size distribution, field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscope for surface morphology. The drug release property and the cytotoxicity of the drug loaded nanoparticles to both cancerous and noncancerous cells were evaluated in cell culture system. To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating a FA modified hydrophobically chitosan with paclitaxel-loaded nanoparticles targeting of folate receptor overexpressing cancer cells.

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