Curcumin is a natural molecule with proved anticancer efficacy on several human cancer cell lines. However, its clinical application has been limited due to its poor bioavailability. Nanocarrier-based drug delivery approaches could make curcumin dispersible in aqueous media, thus overtaking the limits of its low solubility. The aim of this study was to increase the bioavailability and the antitumoral activity of curcumin, by entrapping it into nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs). For this purpose here we describe the preparation and characterization of three kinds of curcumin-loaded NLCs. The nanosystems allowed the achievement of a controlled release of curcumin, the amounts of curcumin released after 24 h from Compritol-Captex, Compritol-Miglyol, and Compritol NLCs being, respectively, equal to 33, 28, and 18% w/w on the total entrapped curcumin. Considering the slower curcumin release profile, Compritol NLCs were chosen to perform successive in vitro studies on ovarian cancer cell lines. The results show that curcumin-loaded NLCs maintain anticancer activity, and reduce cell colony survival more effectively than free curcumin. As an example, the ability of A2780S cells to form colonies was decreased after treatment with 5 μM free curcumin by 50% ± 6, whereas, at the same concentration, the delivery of curcumin with NLC significantly (p <0.05) inhibited colony formation to approximately 88% ± 1, therefore potentiating the activity of curcumin to inhibit A2780S cell growth. The obtained results clearly suggest that the entrapment of curcumin into NLCs increases curcumin efficacy in vitro, indicating the potential use of NLCs as curcumin delivery systems.
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)