PEG-chitosan-coated iron oxide nanoparticles with high saturated magnetization as carriers of 10-hydroxycamptothecin: preparation, characterization and cytotoxicity studies

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2013 Feb 1;102:37-44. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2012.08.004. Epub 2012 Aug 19.


A magnetic nano-sized carrier for 10-hydroxycamptothecin (HCPT) was prepared by using Fe(3)O(4) nanoparticles as cores and chitosan (CS) as a polymeric shell by a novel reverse ultrasonic emulsification method. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chains were then coupled onto the magnetic particles (CS-Fe(3)O(4)) to improve their biocompatibility (PEG-CS-Fe(3)O(4)). HCPT was loaded onto PEG-CS-Fe(3)O(4) by a subtle precipitation method. Under optimum conditions, the CS-Fe(3)O(4) was close to spherical in shape with an average size of 174 nm and a high saturated magnetization. After coupling PEG chains, the unspecific adsorption of bovine serum albumin (BSA) on PEG-CS-Fe(3)O(4) decreased significantly. The drug loading content and loading efficiency were 9.8-11.8% and 49-59% for magnetic composite nanoparticles, respectively. HCPT-loaded magnetic composite nanoparticles showed sustained release profiles up to 48 h, and the cumulative release amount of HCPT from nanoparticles at 45°C increased significantly compared to that at 37°C. Cytotoxicity assay suggests that CS-Fe(3)O(4) does not exhibit noteworthy cytotoxicity against HepG2 cells, but the antitumor activities of HCPT-loaded magnetic composite nanoparticles against HepG2 cells increased significantly in comparison with that of pristine HCPT powder. These results reveal the promising potential of PEG-CS-Fe(3)O(4) as a stable magnetic targeting drug carrier in cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Camptothecin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Camptothecin / chemistry
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chitosan / chemistry*
  • Drug Carriers / adverse effects
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Ferric Compounds / chemistry*
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles / adverse effects
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry*


  • Drug Carriers
  • Ferric Compounds
  • ferric oxide
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Chitosan
  • 10-hydroxycamptothecin
  • Camptothecin