Gemcitabine and chlorotoxin conjugated iron oxide nanoparticles for glioblastoma therapy†
Many small-molecule anti-cancer drugs have short blood half-lives and toxicity issues due to non-specificity. Nanotechnology has shown great promise in addressing these issues. Here, we report the development of anti-cancer drug gemcitabine-conjugated iron oxide nanoparticles for glioblastoma therapy. A glioblastoma targeting peptide, chlorotoxin, was attached after drug conjugation. The nanoparticles have a small size (∼32 nm) and uniform size distribution (PDI ≈ 0.1), and are stable in biological medium. The nanoparticles effectively enter cancer cells without losing potency compared to the free drug. Significantly, the nanoparticles showed a prolonged blood half-life and the ability to cross the blood–brain barrier in wild type mice.