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Article

Cellulose Nanocrystals/Chitosan-Based Nanosystems: Synthesis, Characterization, and Cellular Uptake on Breast Cancer Cells

1
Department of Chemistry, CICECO—Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
2
Department of Biology, CESAM—Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
3
Institute of Bioproducts and Paper Technology, Graz University of Technology, Inffeldgasse 23, 8010 Graz, Austria
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hirotaka Koga
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(8), 2057; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11082057
Received: 18 June 2021 / Revised: 4 August 2021 / Accepted: 9 August 2021 / Published: 12 August 2021
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are elongated biobased nanostructures with unique characteristics that can be explored as nanosystems in cancer treatment. Herein, the synthesis, characterization, and cellular uptake on folate receptor (FR)-positive breast cancer cells of nanosystems based on CNCs and a chitosan (CS) derivative are investigated. The physical adsorption of the CS derivative, containing a targeting ligand (folic acid, FA) and an imaging agent (fluorescein isothiocyanate, FITC), on the surface of the CNCs was studied as an eco-friendly methodology to functionalize CNCs. The fluorescent CNCs/FA-CS-FITC nanosystems with a rod-like morphology showed good stability in simulated physiological and non-physiological conditions and non-cytotoxicity towards MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. These functionalized CNCs presented a concentration-dependent cellular internalization with a 5-fold increase in the fluorescence intensity for the nanosystem with the higher FA content. Furthermore, the exometabolic profile of the MDA-MB-231 cells exposed to the CNCs/FA-CS-FITC nanosystems disclosed a moderate impact on the cells’ metabolic activity, limited to decreased choline uptake and increased acetate release, which implies an anti-proliferative effect. The overall results demonstrate that the CNCs/FA-CS-FITC nanosystems, prepared by an eco-friendly approach, have a high affinity towards FR-positive cancer cells and thus might be applied as nanocarriers with imaging properties for active targeted therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose nanocrystals; chitosan; folic acid; fluorescein isothiocyanate; nanosystems; physical adsorption; cellular uptake; cellular exometabolomics; folate receptor-positive cancer cells cellulose nanocrystals; chitosan; folic acid; fluorescein isothiocyanate; nanosystems; physical adsorption; cellular uptake; cellular exometabolomics; folate receptor-positive cancer cells
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pinto, R.J.B.; Lameirinhas, N.S.; Guedes, G.; Rodrigues da Silva, G.H.; Oskoei, P.; Spirk, S.; Oliveira, H.; Duarte, I.F.; Vilela, C.; Freire, C.S.R. Cellulose Nanocrystals/Chitosan-Based Nanosystems: Synthesis, Characterization, and Cellular Uptake on Breast Cancer Cells. Nanomaterials 2021, 11, 2057. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11082057

AMA Style

Pinto RJB, Lameirinhas NS, Guedes G, Rodrigues da Silva GH, Oskoei P, Spirk S, Oliveira H, Duarte IF, Vilela C, Freire CSR. Cellulose Nanocrystals/Chitosan-Based Nanosystems: Synthesis, Characterization, and Cellular Uptake on Breast Cancer Cells. Nanomaterials. 2021; 11(8):2057. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11082057

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pinto, Ricardo J.B., Nicole S. Lameirinhas, Gabriela Guedes, Gustavo H. Rodrigues da Silva, Párástu Oskoei, Stefan Spirk, Helena Oliveira, Iola F. Duarte, Carla Vilela, and Carmen S.R. Freire 2021. "Cellulose Nanocrystals/Chitosan-Based Nanosystems: Synthesis, Characterization, and Cellular Uptake on Breast Cancer Cells" Nanomaterials 11, no. 8: 2057. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11082057

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