Cell line-dependent cytotoxicity of poly(isobutylcyanoacrylate) nanoparticles coated with chitosan and thiolated chitosan: Insights from cultured human epithelial HeLa, Caco2/TC7 and HT-29/MTX cells

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Nanoparticles composed of poly(isobutylcyanoacrylate) core coated with a mixture of chitosan and thiolated chitosan have already shown promising results in terms of mucoadhesion and permeation enhancement properties of pharmaceutical active drugs delivered via mucosal routes. In the present work, the cytotoxicity of these nanoparticles was first investigated using direct contact assay on undifferentiated human cervix epithelial HeLa cells. The results showed strong toxicity in HeLa cells for the two investigated concentrations 25 and 50 μg/mL. The cytotoxic effect was mainly attributed to the poly(isobutylcyanoacrylate) core since no significant differences in nanoparticle cytotoxicity were reported when nanoparticle shell composition was modified by adding chitosan or thiolated chitosan. In contrast, lower nanoparticle toxicity was reported using human fully-differentiated enterocyte-like Caco-2/TC7, and fully-differentiated mucus-secreting HT-29/MTX cells forming monolayer in culture mimicking an intestinal epithelial barrier. This study demonstrated that the toxicity of poly(isobutylcyanoacrylate) nanoparticles is highly cell line-dependent.

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