Supramolecular nanocapsules from the self-assembly of amphiphilic calixarene as a carrier for paclitaxel
The encapsulation of paclitaxel (PTX) using amphiphilic calixarene (SC4-C6) is an attempt to improve its water solubility. The optimized nanocapsules were successfully prepared by a thin film hydration method where an organic phase containing the mixture of PTX and SC4-C6 (molar ratio of 1:10) was dispersed by probe sonication for 30 s into an aqueous phase. The optimized formulation of PTX loaded amphiphilic calixarene nanocapsules had an average particle size of 206 ± 14 nm and an encapsulation efficiency of 82.65 ± 2.54%. Transmission electron micrographs demonstrated the sphere shape of the PTX loaded amphiphilic calixarene formulation without obvious agglomeration. In vitro drug release experiments clarified the obvious sustained release behaviors of the PTX loaded amphiphilic calixarene formulation compared to commercial Taxol. Furthermore, the PTX loaded SC4-C6 formulation revealed improved PTX induced cytotoxicity in human cervical cancer cell culture experiments in contrast to Taxol. The nanocapsules assembled from amphiphilic calixarenes obtained in this work displayed a desired narrow size range with acceptable drug loading and sustained release behaviors, which are beneficial for their potential application as an anti-cancer drug delivery vehicle.