Nanocomposite gels of poloxamine and Laponite for β-Lapachone release in anticancer therapy.

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Nano-hybrid systems have been shown to be an attractive platform for drug delivery. Laponite® RD (LAP), a biocompatible synthetic clay, has been exploited for its ability to establish of strong secondary interactions with guest compounds and hybridization with polymers or small molecules that improves, for instance, cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation or facilitates drug attachment to their surfaces through charge interaction. In this work, LAP was combined with Tetronics, X-shaped amphiphilic PPO-PEO (poly (propylene oxide)-poly (ethylene oxide) block copolymers. β-Lapachone (BLPC) was selected for its anticancer activity and its limited bioavailability due to very low aqueous solubility, with the aim to improve this by using LAP/Tetronic nano-hybrid systems. The nanocarriers were prepared over a range of Tetronic 1304 concentrations (1 to 20% w/w) and LAP (0 to 3% w/w). A combination of physicochemical methods was employed to characterize the hybrid systems, including rheology, particle size and shape (DLS, TEM), thermal analysis (TG and DSC), FTIR, solubility studies and drug release experiments. In vitro cytotoxicity assays were performed with BALB/3T3 and MCF-7 cell lines. In hybrid systems, a sol-gel transition can occur below physiological temperature. BLPC exhibits the most significant increase in solubility in formulations with a high concentration of T1304 (over 10% w/w) and 1.5% w/w LAP, or systems with only LAP (1.5%), with a 50 and 100-fold increase in solubilisation, respectively. TEM images showed spherical micelles of T1304, which elongated into wormlike micelles with concentration (20%) and in the presence of LAP, a finding that has not been reported before. A sustained release of BLPC over 140 hours was achieved in one of the formulations (10% T1304 with 1.5% laponite), which also showed the best selectivity index towards cancer cells (MCF-7) over BALB/3T3 cell lines. In conclusion, BLPC-loaded T1304/LAP nano-hybrid systems proved safe and highly effective and are thus a promising formulation for anticancer therapy.

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Authors: Gabriel Bezerra Motta Câmara, Raquel de Melo Barbosa, Fátima García-Villén, César Viseras, Renato Ferreira de Almeida Júnior, Paula Renata Lima Machado, Celso Amorim Câmara, Kleber Juvenal Silva Farias, Tulio Flavio Accioly de Lima E Moura, Cécile A Dreiss, Fernanda Nervo Raffin