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Chitosan-based intelligent theragnosis nanocomposites enable pH-sensitive drug release with MR-guided imaging for cancer therapy

Eun-Kyung Lim12, Warayuth Sajomsang34, Yuna Choi1, Eunji Jang5, Hwunjae Lee1, Byunghoon Kang5, Eunjung Kim5, Seungjoo Haam25, Jin-Suck Suh12, Sang Jeon Chung46* and Yong-Min Huh12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-752, South Korea

2 YUHS-KRIBB Medical Convergence Research Institute, Seoul 120-752, South Korea

3 Nanodelivery System Laboratory (NDS), National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC), National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thailand Science Park, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand

4 BioNanotechnology Research Center, KRIBB, Yuseong, Daejeon 305-806, Republic of Korea

5 Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749, South Korea

6 Department of Chemistry, Dongguk University, Seoul 100-715, South Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:467  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-467

Published: 8 November 2013


Smart drug delivery systems that are triggered by environmental conditions have been developed to enhance cancer therapeutic efficacy while limiting unwanted effects. Because cancer exhibits abnormally high local acidities compared to normal tissues (pH 7.4) due to Warburg effects, pH-sensitive systems have been researched for effective cancer therapy. Chitosan-based intelligent theragnosis nanocomposites, N-naphthyl-O-dimethymaleoyl chitosan-based drug-loaded magnetic nanoparticles (NChitosan-DMNPs), were developed in this study. NChitosan-DMNPs are capable of pH-sensitive drug release with MR-guided images because doxorubicin (DOX) and magnetic nanocrystals (MNCs) are encapsulated into the designed N-naphthyl-O-dimethymaleoyl chitosan (N-nap-O-MalCS). This system exhibits rapid DOX release as acidity increases, high stability under high pH conditions, and sufficient capacity for diagnosing and monitoring therapeutic responses. These results demonstrate that NChitosan-DMNPs have potential as theragnosis nanocomposites for effective cancer therapy.

Theragnosis; Cancer therapy; Drug delivery; pH-sensitive; Magnetic resonance imaging; Nanocomposites