Chitosan (CS) and its carboxymethyl derivatives are smart biopolymers that are non-toxic, biocompatible and biodegradable, and, hence, suitable for various biomedical applications, such as drug delivery, gene therapy and tissue engineering. Curcumin is a major chemotherapeutic agent with antioxidant, antiinflammatory, anti-proliferative, anticancer and antimicrobial effects. However, the potential of curcumin as a chemotherapeutic agent is limited by its hydrophobicity and poor bioavailability. In this work, we developed a nanoformulation of curcumin in a carboxymethyl chitosan (CMC) derivative, N, O -carboxymethyl chitosan (N,O-CMC). The curcumin-loaded N,O-CMC (curcumin-N,O-CMC) nanoparticles were characterized using DLS, AFM, SEM, FT-IR and XRD. DLS studies revealed nanoparticles with a mean diameter of 150 ± 30 nm. AFM and SEM confirmed that the particles have a spherical morphology within the size range of 150 ± 30 nm. Curcumin was entrapped with in N,O-CMC nanopartcles with an efficiency of 80%. The in vitro drug-release profile was studied at different pH (7.4 and 4.5) at 37°C for different incubation periods with and without lysozyme. Cytotoxicity studies using MTT assay indicated that curcumin-N,O-CMC nanoparticles showed specific toxicity towards cancer cells and non-toxicity to normal cells. Cellular uptake of curcumin-N,O-CMC nanoparticles was analyzed by fluorescence microscopy and was reconfirmed by flow cytometry. Overall, these results indicate that like previously reported curcumin loaded O-CMC nanoparticles, N, O-CMC will also be an efficient nanocarrier for delivering curcumin to cancer cells. © 2011 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden.
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A. Anitha, Maya, S., Deepa, N., Chennazhi, K. P., Nair, S. V., and Dr. Jayakumar Rangasamy, “Curcumin-loaded N, O-carboxymethyl chitosan nanoparticles for cancer drug delivery”, Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition, vol. 23, pp. 1381-1400, 2012.