Research Highlights

doi:10.1038/nindia.2014.47 Published online 7 April 2014

Vitaminised nanotubes ferry anticancer drug

Researchers have synthesized a nanosized drug carrier from multiwalled carbon nanotubes, vitamin E and an organic compound . This drug carrier is capable of delivering the anticancer drug doxorubicin to breast cancer cells.

Carbon nanotubes have high surface areas, excellent chemical stability and superior electronic properties. They can keep therapeutic molecules intact during transport in the body and deliver them to target cells more effectively and safely than traditional methods.

The researchers synthesized a nanosized drug carrier from multiwalled carbon nanotubes, vitamin E and polyethylene glycol. They loaded the drug carrier with doxorubicin and investigated its drug-delivery potential in cultured human breast cancer cells and tumour-bearing mice. They also compared the drug-delivery potential of this drug carrier with doxorubicin-loaded multiwalled carbon nanotubes and free doxorubicin solution.

The vitamin-loaded carrier showed a significantly longer survival time than the anticancer-drug-loaded nanotubes and the free doxorubicin solution. The results also indicate that the drug-loaded surface-engineered nanotube formulations have a longer residence time and a more sustained release profile in the body than the free doxorubicin solution. The researchers say that vitamin-loaded nanotubes have a higher cancer-targeting potential in tumour-bearing mice than the free doxorubicin solution.


References

  1. Mehra, N. K. et al. The cancer targeting potential of D-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate tethered multi walled carbon nanotubes. Biomaterials 35, 4573-4588 (2014)