Solid lipid nanoparticles co-loaded with doxorubicin and α-tocopherol succinate are effective against drug-resistant cancer cells in monolayer and 3-D spheroid cancer cell models

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This work aimed to develop solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) co-loaded with doxorubicin and α-tocopherol succinate (TS) and to evaluate its potential to overcome drug resistance and to increase antitumoral effect in MCF-7/Adr and NCI/Adr cancer cell lines. The SLN were prepared by a hot homogenization method and characterized for size, zeta potential, entrapment efficiency (EE), and drug loading (DL). The cytotoxicity of SLN or penetration was evaluated in MCF-7/Adr and NCI/adr as a monolayer or spheroid cancer cell model. The SLN showed a size in the range of 74–80 nm, negative zeta potential, EE of 99%, and DL of 67 mg/g. The SLN co-loaded with Dox and TS showed a stronger cytotoxicity against MCF-7/Adr and NCI/Adr cells. In the monolayer model, the doxorubicin co-localization as a free and encapsulated form was higher for the encapsulated drug in MCF-7/Adr and NCI/adr, suggesting a bypassing of P-glycoprotein bomb efflux. For cancer cell spheroids, the SLN co-loaded with doxorubicin and TS showed a prominent cytotoxicity and a greater penetration of doxorubicin.

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