Artemisinin loaded chitosan magnetic nanoparticles for the efficient targeting to the breast cancer


Artemisinin, a natural anti-malarial agent, also possesses anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic activity in cancer cells with very low toxicity to normal healthy cells. Drug loaded magnetic nanoparticlesby using external magnetic field could selectively accumulate the drug at the target site and thereby reduce the doses required to achieve therapeutic concentration which may otherwise produce serious side effects on healthy cells. In the present study the artemisinin magnetic nanoparticles were successfully formulated using chitosan by ionic-gelation method. The developed magnetic nanoparticles of artemisinin were smooth and spherical in natureand their size was in the range of 349 to 445 nm. The polydispersity index (PDI) and zeta potential of the formulated nanoparticles were in the range of 0.373 to 0.908 and −9.34 to −33.3 respectively. They showed 55% to 62.5% of drug encapsulation efficiency and 20% to 25% drug loading capacity. Around 62% to 78% of artemisinin was released from the artemisinin magnetic nanoparticles over the period of 48 h. On application of physiologically acceptable external magnetic field, FITC conjugated artemisinin magnetic nanoparticles showed an enhanced accumulation of nanoparticles in the 4T1 breast tumour tissues of BALB/c mice model.