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Polymeric Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles for Enhanced Delivery of 5-Fluorouracil In Vitro

Nano-Gene and Drug Delivery Group, Discipline of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(6), 288;
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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There is a need for the improvement of conventional cancer treatment strategies by incorporation of targeted and non-invasive procedures aimed to reduce side-effects, drug resistance, and recurrent metastases. The anti-cancer drug, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), is linked to a variety of induced-systemic toxicities due to its lack of specificity and potent administration regimens, necessitating the development of delivery vehicles that can enhance its therapeutic potential, while minimizing associated side-effects. Polymeric mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) have gained popularity as delivery vehicles due to their high loading capacities, biocompatibility, and good pharmacokinetics. MSNs produced in this study were functionalized with the biocompatible polymers, chitosan, and poly(ethylene)glycol to produce monodisperse NPs of 36–65 nm, with a large surface area of 710.36 m2/g, large pore volume, diameter spanning 9.8 nm, and a favorable zeta potential allowing for stability and enhanced uptake of 5-FU. Significant drug loading (0.15–0.18 mg5FU/mgmsn), controlled release profiles (15–65%) over 72 hours, and cell specific cytotoxicity in cancer cells (Caco-2, MCF-7, and HeLa) with reduced cell viability (≥50%) over the non-cancer (HEK293) cells were established. Overall, these 5FU-MSN formulations have been shown to be safe and effective delivery systems in vitro, with potential for in vivo applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: 5-fluorouracil; mesoporous nanoparticles; cancer; chitosan; poly(ethylene)glycol 5-fluorouracil; mesoporous nanoparticles; cancer; chitosan; poly(ethylene)glycol

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Moodley, T.; Singh, M. Polymeric Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles for Enhanced Delivery of 5-Fluorouracil In Vitro. Pharmaceutics 2019, 11, 288.

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