Most of the existing anticancer drugs are very potent small molecules; their efficacy is constrained by their systemic toxicity, narrow therapeutic window, low drug loading, size control, scale up, cost of formulation but also as a result of drug resistance and limited cellular entry. In the last few years, carbon nanotubes have been projected as a promising carrier for many drugs including anticancer agents because of the high surface area and efficient targeting capabilities. The present work is an attempt to investigate the potentialities of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) as a carrier for targeting 6 Mercaptopurine to cancer tissues. MWCNTs were carboxy functionalized and then loaded with 6 Mercaptopurine (6MP) using the fusion method to produce 6MP loaded CNTs. The conjugate was characterized for drug loading efficiency, in vitro drug release and release kinetics. The result indicated that a maximum of about 65% entrapment was achieved. The loaded nanotubes were shown to release the drug for more than 20 hours and thus controlling the release. The release was found to follow the Zero Order and Hixson Crowell release pattern. Our work established a novel, easy to prepare formulation of MWCNTs with better drug loading efficiency and increased dispersibility of CNTs and thus bioavailability at cancer site with reduced systemic toxicity.
Keywords: Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes, 6-Mercaptopurine, Anticancer, Fusion Method.
Cancer is amongst the top three killers in modern society, next to heart and cerebrovascular diseases. Treating cancer has always been a challenge because cancer chemotherapeutic agents are cytotoxic and cannot differentiate cancer cells from normal cells. This leads to the destruction or impairment of vital organs particularly those that have high rate of cell division like the liver, GI lining, hair and skin; in addition to killing of the cancer cells, if their bio-distribution is not properly controlled and the therapeutic agents not targeted towards the cancer cells or tissues. Thus targeting continues to be the Holy Grail in anticancer therapy.
Discovery of Carbon Nanotubes in 1991 by Ijiama provided a ray of hope in this field.Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are described as...