κ-Carrageenan: An effective drug carrier to deliver curcumin in cancer cells and to induce apoptosis
The current study is to develop a natural drug carrier with seaweed derived polymers namely κ-Carrageenan (κ-Car) for drug delivery applications. κ-Car is a natural polysaccharide which derived from edible red seaweeds, they are easily available, non-toxic, cost effective, biodegradable and biocompatible nature. Curcumin (Cur) is a yellow-orange polyphenol existing in turmeric, which is predominantly used as spice and food coloring agent. The ultimate use of polymeric composites, especially those composed of natural polymers, has become a very interesting approach in recent drug delivery applications, due to their non-toxicity and biological origin. In this study the primary approach which depends on the loading of Curcumin into κ-Carrageenan was accomplished, and which (κ-Car-Cur) an active drug carrier was developed for drug delivery against selected lung cancer cells (A549). Thus, the κ-Car-Cur was synthesized by solvent evaporation method followed by freeze drying, and it was further characterized. From this study, it has been reported that the high encapsulation efficiency, good stability, and successful release of Cur from the carrier (κ-Car) was achieved. The drug release was more active at acidic pH 5.0 with the cumulative release of 78%, which is the favorable condition present in tumor microenvironments. The in vitro cellular applications studies of κ-Car-Cur demonstrated that, κ-Car-Cur composites induced higher cytotoxicity against selected cancer cells than free Cur and effectively involved to trigger cellular apoptosis in A549 cancer cells. Further, it was also possessed that inhibition of cell growth and changes in metabolic activity of cancer cells are the unique characteristic features of cellular apoptosis, through reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. It also observed that there was a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔψmΔψm) which leads to a cellular apoptosis during treatment with κ-Car-Cur. Hence, the study outcomes may provide the potential outline for the use of κ-Car-Cur as a promising tool to deliver drugs at intracellular level.
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