Surface functionalization of methotrexate-loaded chitosan nanoparticles with hyaluronic acid/human serum albumin: Comparative characterization and in vitro cytotoxicity

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Graphical abstractThe active tumor targeting ligands, hyaluronic acid (HA) and human serum albumin (HSA), are considered promising targeting moieties of drug carriers for cancer therapy. The chitosan nanoparticles loaded with methotrexate (MTX-CsNPs) were employed as the core for subsequent coating process. HA and HSA coating solutions were used at different concentrations. The effect of different HA Mw (1000, 360, 10 kDa) was also investigated. The coated MTX-CsNPs was characterized proving the success of surface functionalization. The antitumor activity of the prepared MTX-CsNPs was evaluated on MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Results showed that both 360 and 10 kDa HA allowed for successful HA adsorption, while its Mw and concentration determined negative charge density. HSA coating was accompanied by a slight increase in nanoparticles (NPs) size and a final positive surface charge. The in vitro cytotoxicity proved that HA and HSA coated MTX-CsNPs improved the antitumor activity compared to uncoated NPs and free drug.

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