Hyaluronic Acid Based Biodegradable Polyelectrolyte Nanocapsules and Modified Protein Nanoparticles for Targeted Delivery of Anticancer Agents
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Targeted delivery aids in minimizing most of the drug-originated systemic toxic effects as well as improving the pharmacokinetic properties of anticancer therapeutics. Tumor targeting using hyaluronic acid (HA) as the targeting ligand has attracted a great deal of interest among a host of strategies developed to target the overexpressed tumor specific receptors. HA is an endogenous molecule that possesses a lot of biological functions in the human body. The role of HA synthases, HA degrading enzymes and the interaction of HA with its primary receptor CD44 in tumor metastasis and angiogenesis is really complex and controversial to date. However, overexpression of CD44receptors on tumor surface has been well studied, which have been utilized to direct tumor targeted drugs. Most of the HA based targeting systems were HA drug conjugates and surface modified colloidal carriers which required covalent modification. The lack of accurate structural characterization of these systems resulted in modification of HA binding sites that could affect the efficient cellular uptake. LbL technique is a simple and facile method to incorporate several materials into polyelectrolyte assemblies for drug delivery applications. HA being a negatively charged polysaccharide can be easily incorporated into such systems without any covalent modification. Although HA based polyelectrolyte multilayer films and microcapsules have been reported in combination with polycations like PAH, PLL and chitosan, their application as targeted drug delivery systems have not yet been explored. Herein, two LbL architectures with HA as the terminal layer have been investigated as targeted drug carriers, which can recognize overexpressed CD44 receptors in metastatic breast cancer cells. In the first part of the thesis, a novel polyelectrolyte nanocapsule system composed of biopolymers HA and protamine sulphate (PR) as the wall components was prepared and characterized. These pH and enzyme responsive nanocapsules were then utilized for efficient loading and release of anticancer drug doxorubicin (dox). Higher drug release was observed in simulated intracellular conditions like acidic pH and presence of hyaluronidase enzyme as compared to physiological pH. In the second part of the thesis, dox incorporated bovine serum albumin (BSA) nanoparticles modified with HA-Poly(l-Lysine) multilayers were developed and characterized. The drug release pattern of the dox loaded BSA nanoparticles was found to depend on the presence of a protease enzyme trypsin than pH variations. Both of these drug delivery systems were then evaluated for their cell targeting efficiency and cytotoxicity in CD44+ positive metastatic breast cancer cell line MDA MB 231. The final layer HA facilitated targeted delivery of these drug carriers via CD44 receptor mediated endocytosis. The enhanced cellular uptake followed by sustained delivery of dox by virtue of slow intracellular enzymatic degradation of the drug carriers resulted in their improved cytotoxicity as compared to free dox. Further in vitro biodistribution and tumor suppression efficiency of both the systems were studied in breast cancer xenograft models using BALB/c nude mice. Enhance accumulation of dox in the tumor tissue and significant tumor reduction were observed when treated with encapsulated dox using the HA based nanocarriers as opposed to free dox.