Paclitaxel-loaded poly(γ-glutamic acid)-poly(lactide) nanoparticles as a targeted drug delivery system for the treatment of liver cancer

Hsiang Fa Liang, Chiung Tong Chen, Sung Ching Chen, Anandrao R. Kulkarni, Ya Ling Chiu, Mei Chin Chen, Hsing Wen Sung

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183 Citations (Scopus)


The study was to develop paclitaxel-loaded formulations using a novel type of self-assembled nanoparticles (P/NPs) composed of block copolymers synthesized by poly(γ-glutamic acid) and poly(lactide). For the potential of targeting liver cancer cells, galactosamine was conjugated on the prepared nanoparticles (Gal-P/NPs). In the in vitro studies, it was found that both the P/NPs and the Gal-P/NPs had a similar release profile of paclitaxel. The activity in inhibiting the growth of HepG2 cells by the Gal-P/NPs was comparable to that of a clinically available paclitaxel formulation (Phyxol®), while the P/NPs displayed a significantly less activity (p<0.05). The biodistribution and anti-tumor efficacy of the prepared nanoparticles were studied in hepatoma-tumor-bearing nude mice. It was found that the groups injected with Phyxol®, the P/NPs or the Gal-P/NPs significantly delayed the tumor growth as compared to the control group injected with PBS (p<0.05). Among all studied groups, the group injected with the Gal-P/NPs appeared to have the most significant efficacy in the reduction of the size of the tumor. This is because a large number of the Gal-P/NPs were observed at the tumor site, and subsequently released their encapsulated paclitaxel to inhibit the growth of the tumor. The aforementioned results indicated that the Gal-P/NPs prepared in the study had a specific interaction with the hepatoma tumor induced in nude mice via ligand-receptor recognition. Therefore, the prepared Gal-P/NPs may be used as a potential drug delivery system for the targeted delivery to liver cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2051-2059
Number of pages9
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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