pH-responsive high stability polymeric nanoparticles for targeted delivery of anticancer therapeutics

L. Palanikumar, Sumaya Al-Hosani, Mona Kalmouni, Vanessa P. Nguyen, Liaqat Ali, Renu Pasricha, Francisco N. Barrera, Mazin Magzoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The practical application of nanoparticles (NPs) as chemotherapeutic drug delivery systems is often hampered by issues such as poor circulation stability and targeting inefficiency. Here, we have utilized a simple approach to prepare biocompatible and biodegradable pH-responsive hybrid NPs that overcome these issues. The NPs consist of a drug-loaded polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) core covalently ‘wrapped’ with a crosslinked bovine serum albumin (BSA) shell designed to minimize interactions with serum proteins and macrophages that inhibit target recognition. The shell is functionalized with the acidity-triggered rational membrane (ATRAM) peptide to facilitate internalization specifically into cancer cells within the acidic tumor microenvironment. Following uptake, the unique intracellular conditions of cancer cells degrade the NPs, thereby releasing the chemotherapeutic cargo. The drug-loaded NPs showed potent anticancer activity in vitro and in vivo while exhibiting no toxicity to healthy tissue. Our results demonstrate that the ATRAM-BSA-PLGA NPs are a promising targeted cancer drug delivery platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number95
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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