Preparation of hierarchical mesoporous CaCO3 by a facile binary solvent approach as anticancer drug carrier for etoposide

Nanoscale Res Lett. 2013 Jul 15;8(1):321. doi: 10.1186/1556-276X-8-321.


To develop a nontoxic system for targeting therapy, a new highly ordered hierarchical mesoporous calcium carbonate nanospheres (CCNSs) as small drug carriers has been synthesized by a mild and facile binary solvent approach under the normal temperature and pressure. The hierarchical structure by multistage self-assembled strategy was confirmed by TEM and SEM, and a possible formation process was proposed. Due to the large fraction of voids inside the nanospheres which provides space for physical absorption, the CCNSs can stably encapsulate the anticancer drug etoposide with the drug loading efficiency as high as 39.7 wt.%, and etoposide-loaded CCNS (ECCNS) nanoparticles can dispersed well in the cell culture. Besides, the drug release behavior investigated at three different pH values showed that the release of etoposide from CCNSs was pH-sensitive. MTT assay showed that compared with free etoposide, ECCNSs exhibited a higher cell inhibition ratio against SGC-7901 cells and also decreased the toxicity of etoposide to HEK 293 T cells. The CLSM image showed that ECCNSs exhibited a high efficiency of intracellular delivery, especially in nuclear invasion. The apoptosis test revealed that etoposide entrapped in CCNSs could enhance the delivery efficiencies of drug to achieve an improved inhibition effect on cell growth. These results clearly implied that the CCNSs are a promising drug delivery system for etoposide in cancer therapy.