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Open AccessArticle

Acid Denaturation Inducing Self-Assembly of Curcumin-Loaded Hemoglobin Nanoparticles

State Key laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology & Medical School, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
Modern Medical Research Center, Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Changzhou 213003, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Carlos Lodeiro
Materials 2015, 8(12), 8701-8713;
Received: 10 October 2015 / Revised: 23 November 2015 / Accepted: 4 December 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
Hemoglobin is a promising drug carrier but lacks extensive investigation. The chemical conjugation of hemoglobin and drugs is costly and complex, so we have developed curcumin-loaded hemoglobin nanoparticles (CCM-Hb-NPs) via self-assembly for the first time. Using the acid-denaturing method, we avoid introducing denaturants and organic solvents. The nanoparticles are stable with uniform size. We have conducted a series of experiments to examine the interaction of hemoglobin and CCM, including hydrophobic characterization, SDS-PAGE. These experiments substantiate that this self-assembly process is mainly driven by hydrophobic forces. Our nanoparticles achieve much higher cell uptake efficiency and cytotoxicity than free CCM solution in vitro. The uptake inhibition experiments also demonstrate that our nanoparticles were incorporated via the classic clathrin-mediated endocytosis pathway. These results indicate that hemoglobin nanoparticles formed by self-assembly are a promising drug delivery system for cancer therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: drug carrier; hydrophobic forces; self-assemble; cell uptake drug carrier; hydrophobic forces; self-assemble; cell uptake
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Wang, K.; Wang, J.; Hu, W.; Zhang, Y.; Zhi, F.; Zhou, Z.; Wu, J.; Hu, Y. Acid Denaturation Inducing Self-Assembly of Curcumin-Loaded Hemoglobin Nanoparticles. Materials 2015, 8, 8701-8713.

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