Purpose Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer death in Taiwan; it ranks top three in the cancer mortality rate. Curcuminoids are derived from the rhizome of Curcuma longa. It has shown anti-cancer activity and apoptosis induction in a variety of cancer cell lines. This aims to study the potential of Poloxamer 407 as the thermogelling and mucoadhesive polymer for development of a site-targeting delivery system to enhance the localized delivery of curcuminoids to the colorectal cells for CRC chemotherapy. Methods The mucoadhesive strength and rheological properties were measured as a function of poloxamer loaded with curcuminoids. Results The gelation temperature of Poloxamer 407 was found to vary with its concentration and start gelling at 37°C at the concentration of 15.5% (w/v). To ensure gelation at physiological temperature after intra-rectal application, gelation temperature was determined by rheological measurement as well as by its physical appearance. The results indicated that its mucoadhesive strength also shows a dependency on temperature, which appears to be related to the increment in the maximum strength and average strength of the polymer. Conclusion The results have suggested that Poloxamer 407 could be a potential thermogelling and mucoadhesive polymer for the development of a site-targeting colorectal drug delivery system for curcuminoids in colorectal cancer therapy.
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