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Open AccessArticle

Synergy of Chemo- and Photodynamic Therapies with C60 Fullerene-Doxorubicin Nanocomplex

Division Molecular Biotechnology and Functional Genomics, Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau, Hochschulring 1, 15745 Wildau, Germany
Department of Bioinformatics, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Volodymyrska 64, 01601 Kyiv, Ukraine
Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Devices and Systems of Ministry of Education and Guangdong Province, College of Physics and Optoelectronic Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Technology Ilmenau, Weimarer Straße 25 (Curiebau), 98693 Ilmenau, Germany
Palladin Institute of Biochemistry, NAS of Ukraine, Leontovicha Str. 9, 01030 Kyiv, Ukraine
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(11), 1540;
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 22 October 2019 / Accepted: 27 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
A nanosized drug complex was explored to improve the efficiency of cancer chemotherapy, complementing it with nanodelivery and photodynamic therapy. For this, nanomolar amounts of a non-covalent nanocomplex of Doxorubicin (Dox) with carbon nanoparticle C60 fullerene (C60) were applied in 1:1 and 2:1 molar ratio, exploiting C60 both as a drug-carrier and as a photosensitizer. The fluorescence microscopy analysis of human leukemic CCRF-CEM cells, in vitro cancer model, treated with nanocomplexes showed Dox’s nuclear and C60’s extranuclear localization. It gave an opportunity to realize a double hit strategy against cancer cells based on Dox’s antiproliferative activity and C60’s photoinduced pro-oxidant activity. When cells were treated with 2:1 C60-Dox and irradiated at 405 nm the high cytotoxicity of photo-irradiated C60-Dox enabled a nanomolar concentration of Dox and C60 to efficiently kill cancer cells in vitro. The high pro-oxidant and pro-apoptotic efficiency decreased IC50 16, 9 and 7 × 103-fold, if compared with the action of Dox, non-irradiated nanocomplex, and C60’s photodynamic effect, correspondingly. Hereafter, a strong synergy of therapy arising from the combination of C60-mediated Dox delivery and C60 photoexcitation was revealed. Our data indicate that a combination of chemo- and photodynamic therapies with C60-Dox nanoformulation provides a promising synergetic approach for cancer treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: photodynamic chemotherapy; synergistic effect; C60 fullerene; Doxorubicin; nanocomplex; leukemic cells; apoptosis photodynamic chemotherapy; synergistic effect; C60 fullerene; Doxorubicin; nanocomplex; leukemic cells; apoptosis
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Grebinyk, A.; Prylutska, S.; Chepurna, O.; Grebinyk, S.; Prylutskyy, Y.; Ritter, U.; Ohulchanskyy, T.Y.; Matyshevska, O.; Dandekar, T.; Frohme, M. Synergy of Chemo- and Photodynamic Therapies with C60 Fullerene-Doxorubicin Nanocomplex. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1540.

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