A multifunctional poly(curcumin) nanomedicine for dual-modal targeted delivery, intracellular responsive release, dual-drug treatment and imaging of multidrug resistant cancer cells
A multifunctional anti-cancer nanomedicine based on a biotin–poly(ethylene glycol)–poly(curcumin-dithio dipropionic acid) (Biotin–PEG–PCDA) polymeric nanocarrier loaded with paclitaxel (PTX), magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and quantum dots (QDs) is developed. It combines advantageous properties of efficient targeted delivery and uptake (via biotin and MNP), intracellular responsive release (via cleavable PCDA polymer), fluorescence imaging (via QD) and combined PTX-curcumin dual-drug treatment, allowing for overcoming drug resistance mechanisms of model multidrug resistant breast cancer cells (MCF-7/ADR). The PTX/MNPs/QDs@Biotin–PEG–PCDA nanoparticles are highly stable under physiological conditions, but are quickly disassembled to release their drug load in the presence of 10 mM glutathione (GSH). The nanoparticles show high uptake by tumour cells from a combined effect of magnet targeting and biotin receptor-mediated internalization. Moreover, curcumin, an intracellularly cleaved product of PCDA, can effectively down regulate the expression of drug efflux transporters such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp) to increase PTX accumulation within target cancer cells, thereby enhancing PTX induced cytotoxicity and therapeutic efficacy against MCF-7/ADR cells. Taken together, this novel tumour-targeting and traceable multifunctional nanomedicine is highly effective against model MDR cancer at the cellular level.