Oommen OP, Duehrkop C, Nilsson B, Hilborn J, Varghese OP
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 8 (32) 20614-20624 [2016-08-17; online 2016-07-29]
Hyaluronic acid (HA) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) polymers are extensively used for various biomedical applications, such as for tissue engineering, drug delivery, and gene delivery. Although both these biopolymers are known to target cell surface CD44 receptors, their relative cellular targeting properties and immune activation potential have never been evaluated. In this article, we present the synthesis and characterization of novel self-assembled supramolecular HA and CS nanoparticles (NPs). These NPs were developed using fluorescein as a hydrophobic component that induced amphiphilicity in biopolymers and also efficiently stabilized anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) promoting a near zero-order drug release. The cellular uptake and cytotoxicity studies of these NPs in different human cancer lines, namely, human colorectal carcinoma cell line HCT116 and human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 demonstrated dose dependent cytotoxicity. Interestingly, both NPs showed CD44 dependent cellular uptake with the CS-DOX NP displaying higher dose-dependent cytotoxicity than the HA-DOX NP in different mammalian cells tested. Immunological evaluation of these nanocarriers in an ex vivo human whole blood model revealed that unlike unmodified polymers, the HA NP and CS NP surprisingly showed platelet aggregation and thrombin-antithrombin complex formation at high concentrations (0.8 mg/mL). We also observed a clear difference in early- and late-stage complement activation (C3a and sC5b-9) with CS and CS NP triggering significant complement activation at high concentrations (0.08-0.8 mg/mL), unlike HA and HA NP. These results offer new insight into designing glycosaminoglycan-based NPs and understanding their hematological responses and targeting ability.