Biodegradable Polymersomes for the Delivery of Gemcitabine to Panc-1 Cells.


Traditional anticancer chemotherapy often displays toxic side effects, poor bioavailability, and a low therapeutic index. Targeting and controlled release of a chemotherapeutic agent can increase drug bioavailability, mitigate undesirable side effects, and increase the therapeutic index. Here we report a polymersome-based system to deliver gemcitabine to Panc-1 cells in vitro. The polymersomes were self-assembled from a biocompatible and completely biodegradable polymer, poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(caprolactone), PEO-PCL. We showed that we can encapsulate gemcitabine within stable 200 nm vesicles with a 10% loading efficiency. These vesicles displayed a controlled release of gemcitabine with 60% release after 2 days at physiological pH. Upon treatment of Panc-1 cells in vitro, vesicles were internalized as verified with fluorescently labeled polymersomes. Clonogenic assays to determine cell survival were performed by treating Panc-1 cells with varying concentrations of unencapsulated gemcitabine (FreeGem) and polymersome-encapsulated gemcitabine (PolyGem) for 48 hours. 1 μM PolyGem was equivalent in tumor cell toxicity to 1 μM FreeGem, with a one log cell kill observed. These studies suggest that further investigation on polymersome-based drug formulations is warranted for chemotherapy of pancreatic cancer.






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Publication Info

Sood, Nimil, Walter T Jenkins, Xiang-Yang Yang, Nikesh N Shah, Joshua S Katz, Cameron J Koch, Paul R Frail, Michael J Therien, et al. (2017). Biodegradable Polymersomes for the Delivery of Gemcitabine to Panc-1 Cells. J Pharm (Cairo), 2013. 10.1155/2013/932797 Retrieved from

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