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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-20

The Influence of pluronic F68 and F127 nanocarrier on physicochemical properties, in vitro release, and antiproliferative activity of thymoquinone drug


1 Department of Physical Chemistry, School of Chemical Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 13200 Bertam, Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
2 Oncological and Radiological Sciences Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 13200 Bertam, Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Noor Haida Mohd Kaus
School of Chemical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malysia, Pulau Pinang
Malaysia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.199774

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Background: This study reports on hydrophobic drug thymoquinone (TQ), an active compound found in the volatile oil of Nigella sativa that exhibits anticancer activities. Nanoformulation of this drug could potentially increase its bioavailability to specific target cells. Objective: The aim of this study was to formulate TQ into polymer micelle, Pluronic F127 (5.0 wt %) and Pluronic F68 (0.1 wt %), as a drug carrier to enhance its solubility and instability in aqueous media. Materials and Methods: Polymeric micelles encapsulated TQ were prepared by the microwave-assisted solvent evaporation technique. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometer were utilized for qualitative confirmation of micelles encapsulation. The surface morphology and mean particle size of the prepared micelles were determined by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Cytotoxicity effect was studied using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt (MTS) assay. Results: Dynamic laser light scattering (DLS) technique showed hydrodynamic size distribution of optimized micelles of 50 nm, which was in close agreement with the mean particle size obtained from TEM of about 51 nm. Drug release study showed the maximum percentage of TQ release at 61% after 72 h, while the entrapment efficiency of TQ obtained was 46% using PF127. The cytotoxic effect of PF127-encapsulated TQ was considerably higher compared to PF68-encapsulated TQ against MCF7 cells, as they exhibited IC50value of 8 μM and 18 μM, respectively. Conclusion: This study suggests higher molecular weight Pluronic polymer micelles (F127) with hydrophilic-hydrophobic segments which could be used as a suitable candidate for sustainable delivery of TQ. However, comprehensive studies should be carried out to establish the suitability of Pluronic F127 as a carrier for other drugs with similar challenges as TQ.


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