John Garner

PLGA-Cholesterol from PolySciTech investigated for targeted nanoparticle therapy of laryngeal cancer

Blog Post created by John Garner on Jun 13, 2016

PolySciTech division of Akina, Inc. ( provides a wide array of biodegradable polymers including PLGA derivatives such as PLGA with a cholesterol endcap. Cholesterol has been found as an important molecule involved in endocytosis (cellular uptake) as well as, more specifically for cancer, it is used for enhanced proliferation and metastasis. Researchers at Seoul National and Kangwon National universities in Korea recently encapsulated curcumin in PLGA-cholesterol from PolySciTech forming drug loaded nanoparticles. They found, by flow cytometry, confocal microscopy techniques, and mouse-model studies that these nanoparticles are preferentially up-taken into cancer cells (Human Laryngeal Carcinoma) over typical PLGA nanoparticles. This research holds promise for improved targeted delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to cancer sites for higher efficacy and lower side-effects from these types of treatments. Read more here: Lee, Jeong-Jun, Song Yi Lee, Ju-Hwan Park, Dae-Duk Kim, and Hyun-Jong Cho. "Cholesterol-modified poly (lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles for tumor-targeted drug delivery." International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2016).


  “Abstract: Poly(lactide-co-glycolide)-cholesterol (PLGA-C)-based nanoparticles (NPs) were developed for tumor-targeted delivery of curcumin (CUR). PLGA-C/CUR NPs with ∼200 nm mean diameter, narrow size distribution, and neutral zeta potential were fabricated by modified emulsification-solvent evaporation method. The existence of cholesterol moiety in PLGA-C copolymer was confirmed by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) analysis. In vitro stability of developed NPs after 24 h incubation was confirmed in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and serum media. Sustained (∼6 days) and pH-responsive drug release profiles from PLGA-C NPs were presented. Blank PLGA and PLGA-C NPs exhibited negligible cytotoxicity in Hep-2 (human laryngeal carcinoma) cells in the tested concentration range. According to the results of flow cytometry and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) studies, PLGA-C NPs presented an improved cellular accumulation efficiency, compared to PLGA NPs, in Hep-2 cells. Enhanced in vivo tumor targetability of PLGA-C NPs, compared to PLGA NPs, in Hep-2 tumor-xenografted mouse model was also verified by real-time near- infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging study. Developed PLGA-C NPs may be a candidate of efficient and biocompatible nanosystems for tumor-targeted drug delivery and cancer imaging. Keywords: Cancer; Cholesterol; Curcumin; Endocytosis; Nanoparticle”


Lee, 2016 PLGA-cholesterol.png