Polydopamine (pDA)-modified iron oxide core-shell nanoparticles (IONPs) are developed and designed as nanovectors of drugs. Reactive quinone of pDA enhances the binding efficiency of various biomolecules for targeted delivery. Glutathione disulfide (GSSG), an abundant thiol species in the cytoplasm, was immobilized on the pDA-IONP surface. It serves as a cellular trigger to release the drug from the nanoparticles providing an efficient platform for the drug delivery system. Additionally, GSSG on the surface was further modified to form S-nitrosoglutathione that can act as nitric oxide (NO) donors. These NPs were fully characterized using a transmission electronic microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), dynamic light scattering (DLS), zeta potential, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and UV-vis spectroscopies. Doxorubicin (DOX) and docetaxel (DTX) are two anticancer drugs, which were loaded onto nanoparticles with respective loading efficiencies of 243 and 223 µmol/g of IONPs, calculated using TGA measurements. DOX release study, using UV-vis spectroscopy, showed a pH responsive behavior, making the elaborated nanocarrier a potential drug delivery system. (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl) -2H-tetrazolium (MTS) and apoptosis assays were performed on PC3 cell lines to evaluate the efficiency of the developed nanocarriers. These nanoparticles thus can prove their worth in cancer treatment on account of their easy access to the site and release of drug in response to changes to internal parameters such as pH, chemicals, etc.
Keywords: anticancer; biocompatible; core-shell nanoparticles; drug delivery.