Dual enzyme responsive and targeted nanocapsules for intracellular delivery of anticancer agents
We report the fabrication of dual enzyme responsive hollow nanocapsules which can be targeted to deliver anticancer agents specifically inside cancer cells. The enzyme responsive elements, integrated in the nanocapsule walls, undergo degradation in the presence of either trypsin or hyaluronidase leading to the release of encapsulated drug molecules. These nanocapsules, which were crosslinked and functionalised with folic acid, showed minimal drug leakage when kept in pH 7.4 PBS buffer, but released the drug molecules at a rapid rate in the presence of either one of the triggering enzymes. Studies on cellular interactions of these nanocapsules revealed that doxorubicin loaded nanocapsules were taken up by cervical cancer cells via folic acid receptor medicated endocytosis. Interestingly the nanocapsules were able to disintegrate inside the cancer cells and release doxorubicin which then migrated into the nucleus to induce cell death. This study indicates that these nanocapsules fabricated from biopolymers can serve as an excellent platform for targeted intracellular drug delivery to cancer cells.