Development of hematin conjugated PLGA nanoparticle for selective cancer targeting

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Targeted nanomedicine for cancer therapy has gained widespread popularity and is being extensively explored. Porphyrins have intrinsic tumor localizing ability and have been studied for photodynamic therapy. However, they have not been used as cancer targeting agents for nanomedicines. In this study, PLGA nanoparticles were formulated and an iron-containing blood porphyrin, hematin was conjugated to the surface of the nanoparticles to investigate selectivity towards cancer cell and cellular internalization. Hematin was previously shown to facilitate growth and proliferation of cancer cells. PLGA nanoparticles were characterized by FE-SEM, AFM, DLS, and Zeta potential analyzer. The conjugation of hematin was confirmed by FTIR. HeLa cells were used to study tumor selectivity and uptake. Hematin conjugated particles (ζ potential: −15.19 mV) showed higher affinity towards the cancer cells than the control particles. The result indicated that the particles were internalized by heme carrier protein-1. Together these data suggest that hematin is a promising cancer targeting material for nanotherapeutics.

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