John Garner

PLGA-PEG-Mal from PolySciTech used in development of curcumin nanoparticles for brain-cancer treatment

Blog Post created by John Garner on Sep 6, 2017


Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent found in turmeric that prevents cancer metastasis and can aid in treatment of cancer. Due to its extremely poor absorption and low water solubility, simply eating turmeric or taking curcumin as a supplement will not provide adequate curcumin levels to cancerous cells to be of any therapeutic effect. Pairing this agent with a delivery system, however, can leverage its potential as an anticancer compound. Recently, researchers at Yantai University, Luye Pharmaceutical Co, Lunan Pharmaceutical Group, and Binzhou Medical University (China) utilized PLGA-PEG-Mal (PolyVivo AI020) from PolySciTech ( to create a targeted delivery nanoparticle for curcumin to glioma cells. This research holds promise to provide for additional treatment options for brain-cancer. Read more: Zhang, Xuemei, Xuejuan Li, Hongchen Hua, Aiping Wang, Wanhui Liu, Youxin Li, Fenghua Fu, Yanan Shi, and Kaoxiang Sun. "Cyclic hexapeptide-conjugated nanoparticles enhance curcumin delivery to glioma tumor cells and tissue." International Journal of Nanomedicine 12 (2017): 5717.

“Glioma has one of the highest mortality rates among primary brain tumors. The clinical treatment for glioma is very difficult due to its infiltration and specific growth locations. To achieve improved drug delivery to a brain tumor, we report the preparation and in vitro and in vivo evaluation of curcumin nanoparticles (Cur-NPs). The cyclic hexapeptide c(RGDf(N-me) VK)-C (cHP) has increased affinity for cells that overexpress integrins and was designed to target Cur-NPs to tumors. Functional polyethyleneglycol-modified poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PEG-PLGA) conjugated to cHP was synthesized, and targeted Cur-NPs were prepared using a self-assembly nanoprecipitation process. The physicochemical properties and the in vitro cytotoxicity, accuracy, and penetration capabilities of Cur-NPs targeting cells with high levels of integrin expression were investigated. The in vivo targeting and penetration capabilities of the NPs were also evaluated against glioma in rats using in vivo imaging equipment. The results showed that the in vitro cytotoxicity of the targeted cHP-modified curcumin nanoparticles (cHP/Cur-NPs) was higher than that of either free curcumin or non-targeted Cur-NPs due to the superior ability of the cHP/Cur-NPs to target tumor cells. The targeted cHP/Cur-NPs, c(RGDf(N-me)VK)-C-modified Cur-NPs, exhibited improved binding, uptake, and penetration abilities than non-targeting NPs for glioma cells, cell spheres, and glioma tissue. In conclusion, c(RGDf(N-me)VK)-C can serve as an effective targeting ligand, and cHP/Cur-NPs can be exploited as a potential drug delivery system for targeting gliomas. Keywords: glioma targeting, integrin targeting, c(RGDf(N-me)VK)-C peptide, curcumin nanoparticles, in vitro and in vivo evaluation”