The Use of Carbon Nanotubes for Delivery of Anticancer Drugs Essay

The Use of Carbon Nanotubes for Delivery of Anticancer Drugs Essay

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Most of the existing anticancer drugs are very potent small molecules; their efficacy is constrained by their systemic toxicity, narrow therapeutic window, low drug loading, size control, scale up, cost of formulation but also as a result of drug resistance and limited cellular entry. In the last few years, carbon nanotubes have been projected as a promising carrier for many drugs including anticancer agents because of the high surface area and efficient targeting capabilities. The present work is an attempt to investigate the potentialities of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) as a carrier for targeting 6 Mercaptopurine to cancer tissues. MWCNTs were carboxy functionalized and then loaded with 6 Mercaptopurine (6MP) using the fusion method to produce 6MP loaded CNTs. The conjugate was characterized for drug loading efficiency, in vitro drug release and release kinetics. The result indicated that a maximum of about 65% entrapment was achieved. The loaded nanotubes were shown to release the drug for more than 20 hours and thus controlling the release. The release was found to follow the Zero Order and Hixson Crowell release pattern. Our work established a novel, easy to prepare formulation of MWCNTs with better drug loading efficiency and increased dispersibility of CNTs and thus bioavailability at cancer site with reduced systemic toxicity.

Keywords: Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes, 6-Mercaptopurine, Anticancer, Fusion Method.

Cancer is amongst the top three killers in modern society, next to heart and cerebrovascular diseases. Treating cancer has always been a challenge because cancer chemotherapeutic agents are cytotoxic and cannot differentiate cancer cells from normal cells. This leads to the destruction or impairment of vi...


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...ents like PEG to achieve long blood circulation half-life helping to impede in-vivo opsonization and reduced reticulo-endothelial system uptake[12]. In addition, many oxygen containing groups, mainly carboxyl and hydroxyl, have been found to decorate the surface of CNTs oxidized with strong acids[13].

Several targeted anticancer delivery systems containing 6-Mercaptopurine (6MP) have been reported[14-18]. In the present study, 6MP (6, 7-dihydro-3H-purine-6-thione) (Fig 1) loaded CNTs were developed by slight modification in fusion method[19]. Non-covalent functionalization of Multi walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) was achieved using basic treatment followed by treatment with HCl. Functionalized MWCNT were attached with 6MP by sonication in a suitable media (pH 7.4). The formulations were characterized for drug entrapment, in vitro drug release and release kinetics.

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