Cellular responses of hyaluronic acid-coated chitosan nanoparticles†
In recent years, nanotechnology has been proven to offer promising biomedical applications for in vivo diagnostics and drug delivery, stressing the importance of thoroughly investigating the biocompatibility of potentially translatable nanoparticles (NPs). Herein, we report the cellular responses of uncoated chitosan NPs (CS NPs) and hyaluronic acid-coated chitosan NPs (HA-CS NPs) when introduced into Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO-K1) in a dose-dependent manner (2.5, 0.25, 0.025, 0.0025, and 0.00025 mg mL−1) at two time points (24 and 48 h). MTS assay, cell proliferation, showed a decrease in the viability of cells when treated with 0.25 and 2.5 mg mL−1 CS NPs. When exposed to high doses of CS NPs, the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme started to leak out of the cells and the cellular levels of mitochondrial potentials were significantly reduced accompanied by a high production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Our study provides molecular evidence of the biocompatibility offered by HA-CS NPs, through ROS scavenging capabilities rescuing cells from the oxidative stress, showing no observed cellular stress and thereby revealing the promising effect of anionic hyaluronic acid to significantly reduce the cytotoxicity of CS NPs. Our findings are important to accelerate the translation and utilization of HA-CS NPs in drug delivery, demonstrating the pronounced effect of surface modifications on modulating the biological responses.