Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi researchers have used natural polymer-based smart nanoparticles to treat colorectal cancer as these nanoparticles release the drug in response to stimuli specific to the cancer site only.
The findings, published in the Journal Carbohydrate Polymers, indicate that the team has developed biodegradable nanoparticles from renewable resources which can release both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs having different anticancer mechanisms, thus reducing the dependency on petroleum-based polymers.
“One of the driving interests among the material science and healthcare community performing interdisciplinary work is the development of biodegradable nanoparticles from renewable resources and designing them in such a way that they can release the drug in response to stimuli which are specific to cancer site only,” said Garima Agrawal, Assistant Professor from the institute.
“The designed system should be capable of supporting drugs having different solubility in water. In this regard, the simplest approach that we followed for developing biodegradable nanoparticles is using chitosan, which is a naturally derived polymer, in combination with disulfide chemistry,” Agrawal added.
Colorectal cancer is a devastating disease leading to increased mortality worldwide, and it is the third most common cancer in men and the second most common in women worldwide. It accounts for 8 per cent of all cancer deaths making it the fourth most common cause of death due to cancer in the world.
As per the study, the team developed redox-responsive chitosan/stearic acid nanoparticles (CSSA NPs) as drug carriers for both curcumin (hydrophobic; a component from turmeric that is used daily in food) and doxorubicin (hydrophilic) drugs delivery targeting colorectal cancer.
This approach of combining anti-cancer drugs having a different mode of anticancer action allows to develop the systems for cancer therapy with enhanced efficacy, the researchers said.