Surface modification of solid lipid nanoparticles for oral delivery of curcumin: Improvement of bioavailability through enhanced cellular uptake, and lymphatic uptake

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Curcumin has been reported to exhibit potent anticancer effects. However, poor solubility, bioavailability and stability of curcumin limit its in vivo efficacy for the cancer treatment. Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) are a promising delivery system for the enhancement of bioavailability of hydrophobic drugs. However, burst release of drug from SLN in acidic environment limits its usage as oral delivery system. Hence, we prepared N-carboxymethyl chitosan (NCC) coated curcumin-loaded SLN (NCC-SLN) to inhibit the rapid release of curcumin in acidic environment and enhance the bioavailability. The NCC-SLN exhibited suppressed burst release in simulated gastric fluid while sustained release was observed in simulated intestinal fluid. Furthermore, NCC-SLN exhibited increased cytotoxicity and cellular uptake on MCF-7 cells. The lymphatic uptake and oral bioavailability of NCC-SLN were found to be 6.3-fold and 9.5-fold higher than that of curcumin solution, respectively. These results suggest that NCC-SLN could be an efficient oral delivery system for curcumin.

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