Self-assembled nanoparticles based on galactosylated O-carboxymethyl chitosan-graft-stearic acid conjugates for delivery of doxorubicin

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Graphical abstractA novel polymer, i.e. galactosylated O-carboxymethyl chitosan-graft-stearic acid (Gal-OCMC-g-SA) was synthesized for liver targeting delivery of doxorubicin. The chemical structure was characterized by FT-IR, 1H NMR and elemental analysis. Gal-OCMC-g-SA could self-assemble into nanoparticles with diameter of 160 nm by probe sonication in aqueous medium and exhibited a low critical aggregation concentration of 0.047 mg/mL. The DOX-loaded Gal-OCMC-g-SA (Gal-OCMC-g-SA/DOX) self-assembled nanoparticles were almost spherical in shape with an average diameter of less than 200 nm and zeta potential of around −10 mV. In vitro release revealed that the Gal-OCMC-g-SA/DOX nanoparticles exhibited a sustained and pH-dependent drug release manner. Furthermore, the hemolysis test demonstrated the good safety of Gal-OCMC-g-SA in blood-contacting applications. These results indicated that Gal-OCMC-g-SA/DOX nanoparticles were highly potential to be applied in cancer therapy.

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