Fabrication, characterization and evaluation of β-elemene nanoparticles for anti-cancer treatment

Zhao, Xi (2020) Fabrication, characterization and evaluation of β-elemene nanoparticles for anti-cancer treatment. MRes thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, causing about 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Systemic chemotherapy is a widely used treatment against cancer. However, it is difficult for chemotherapeutic to reach the specific tumour tissues, which can result in some side effects in normal healthy tissues. With the development of nanotechnology in medical area, it becomes possible to deliver drugs to target region by using nanoparticles. Low-density lipoprotein is an excellent example of nanocarrier system for hydrophobic materials. According to some studies, LDL uptake by cancer cells are higher than normal cells.

β-elemene, extracted from the traditional Chinese medicinal herb Curcuma, has been used to effectively treat certain types of tumours in China. Due to the moderate anti-cancer activity and poor solubility in water of β-elemene, efficient delivery of β-elemene into tumour cells is a major challenge.

Herein, the objective of this project is to design, fabricate, characterize, optimize and evaluate a new targeting drug delivery system of β-elemene for cancer treatment.

Fabrication method used in this project is rapid solvent exchange method, which is rapid injection of β-elemene and POPC at 833 L/s in water under stirring (500 RPM). This method involved rapid injection using an automatic displacement syringe and stirring using magnetic stirrer.

POPC coated β-elemene NPs with diameters of 27 nm were fabricated by using rapid solvent exchange method. The average hydrodynamic diameter and polydispersity index of NP was measured by using DLS and TEM. To improve the quality of NPs (in the form of more stable and smaller size), fabrication method was optimized. Furthermore, the cytotoxicity of POPC coated NPs was compared with pure β-elemene and uncoated β-elemene NPs. POPC coated NPs showed activity against breast cancer cell lines in vitro where the following IC50 values were obtained at 154μM.

It was observed that the cellular uptake of nanoparticles depends on the time of incubation and the concentration of nanoparticles in the medium. The uptake of nanoparticles was rapid with confocal microscope demonstrating their localization mostly in the lysosome.

In summary, a novel POPC coated β-elemene NPs has been designed and fabricated demonstrating appropriate characteristics for intratumoral drug delivery.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MRes)
Supervisors: Zhu, Zheying
Williams, Phil
Needem, David
Keywords: β-elemene, Nanoparticles, Cancer, Treatment, Drug delivery
Subjects: R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Pharmacy
Item ID: 60551
Depositing User: Zhao, Xi
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2020 08:52
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2022 04:30
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/60551

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