Process optimization studies of 10-Hydroxycamptothecin (HCPT)-loaded folate-conjugated chitosan nanoparticles by SAS-ionic crosslink combination using response surface methodology (RSM)
Review articleOpen access

Abstract10-Hydroxycamptothecin (HCPT) is a well-established topoisomerase I inhibitor of a broad spectrum of cancers. However, poor aqueous solubility, low instability, and toxicity to normal tissues have limited its clinical development. A novel HCPT-containing drug carrier system was developed to overcome these disadvantages. The response surface methodology was used to optimize the process of preparing HCPT–chitosan nanoparticles (HCPT–CSNPs) by the SAS-ionic crosslink (supercritical antisolvent SAS) combination method; the resulting HCPT–CSNPs were then conjugated with folate for specific targeting. A central composite design, composed of four independent variables, namely, chitosan concentration, TPP concentration, HCPT nanoparticle concentration, and crosslink time, was applied in the modeling process. The mean particle size and drug entrapment efficiency (DEE) of HCPT–CSNPs were chosen as response variables. The interactive effects of the four independent variables on the response variables were also studied. Nanoparticle characteristics such as morphology, DEE, and mean particle size were investigated. The optimum conditions for preparing HCPT–CSNPs were determined as follows: folate-coupled chitosan concentration 2.46 mg/ml, TPP concentration 7.73 mg/ml, HCPT nanoparticle concentration 0.48 mg/ml, and crosslinking time 47.4 min. Optimum conditions for preparing desired HCPT–CSNPs with a mean particle size of 173.5 nm and entrapment efficiency of 77.3% were obtained. The resulting folate-conjugated HCPT–CSNPs (FA–HCPT–CSNPs) reveal that the amount of folate conjugation was 197.64 mg/g CS. FA–HCPT–CSNPs used in drug carrier systems could have potential value in HCPT-sensitive tumors.

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