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Development of docetaxel and alendronate-loaded chitosan-conjugated polylactide-co-glycolide nanoparticles: <i>In vitro</i> characterization in osteosarcoma cells

Ya-Feng Liu
Rui Liu
Xue-Yang Li
Zhen Song
Xue-Hang Zhao


Purpose: To develop docetaxel (DTX)- and alendronate (ALN)-loaded, chitosan  (CS)-conjugated polylactide- co-glycolide (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) to increase therapeutic efficacy in osteosarcoma cells.
Methods: Drug-loaded PLGA NPs were prepared by nanoprecipitation and  chemically conjugated by the carboxylic group of PLGA to the amine-bearing CS polymer. The nanocarrier was characterized by dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry as well as by in vitro drug release and cell culture studies.
Results: NP size was within the tumour targeting range (~200 nm) with an effective positive charge (20 mV), thus increasing cellular uptake efficiency. Morphological analysis revealed clear spherical particles with uniform dispersion. The NPs  exhibited identical sustained release kinetics for both DTX and ALN. CS-conjugated PLGA with dual-drug-loaded (DTX and AL) NPs showed typical time-dependent cellular uptake and also displayed superior cytotoxicity in MG-63 cells compared with blank NPs, which were safe and biocompatible.
Conclusion: Combined loading of DTX and ALN in NPs increased the therapeutic efficacy of the formulation for osteosarcoma treatment, thus indicating the potential benefit of a combinatorial drug regimen using nanocarriers for effective treatment of osteosarcoma.

Keywords: Chitosan, Docetaxel, Alendronate, Nanocarriers, Sustained-release kinetics, Polylactide-coglycolide, Osteosarcoma, Cellular uptake