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Preparation of hierarchical mesoporous CaCO3 by a facile binary solvent approach as anticancer drug carrier for etoposide

Haibao Peng, Kun Li, Ting Wang, Jin Wang, Jiao Wang, Rongrong Zhu, Dongmei Sun* and Shilong Wang*

Author Affiliations

School of Life Science and Technology, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai 200092, People's Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:321  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-321

Published: 15 July 2013


To develop a nontoxic system for targeting therapy, a new highly ordered hierarchical mesoporous calcium carbonate nanospheres (CCNSs) as small drug carriers has been synthesized by a mild and facile binary solvent approach under the normal temperature and pressure. The hierarchical structure by multistage self-assembled strategy was confirmed by TEM and SEM, and a possible formation process was proposed. Due to the large fraction of voids inside the nanospheres which provides space for physical absorption, the CCNSs can stably encapsulate the anticancer drug etoposide with the drug loading efficiency as high as 39.7 wt.%, and etoposide-loaded CCNS (ECCNS) nanoparticles can dispersed well in the cell culture. Besides, the drug release behavior investigated at three different pH values showed that the release of etoposide from CCNSs was pH-sensitive. MTT assay showed that compared with free etoposide, ECCNSs exhibited a higher cell inhibition ratio against SGC-7901 cells and also decreased the toxicity of etoposide to HEK 293 T cells. The CLSM image showed that ECCNSs exhibited a high efficiency of intracellular delivery, especially in nuclear invasion. The apoptosis test revealed that etoposide entrapped in CCNSs could enhance the delivery efficiencies of drug to achieve an improved inhibition effect on cell growth. These results clearly implied that the CCNSs are a promising drug delivery system for etoposide in cancer therapy.

CaCO3 nano-structure; Multistage self-assembled; pH-sensitive drug delivery; Etoposide