Glycopolymer decorated multiwalled carbon nanotubes for dual targeted breast cancer therapy†
Carbon-based nanomaterials (CNMs) have attracted great attention in biomedical applications such as cancer imaging and therapy. CNMs, which are currently used in a wide range of applications, suffer from drawbacks of toxicity and low biocompatibility. Either noncovalent or covalent functionalization of CNMs with hydrophilic and biocompatible polymers which help to block hydrophobic interactivity between CNMs and cells can greatly increase their biocompatibility by eliminating their probable toxicity towards living organisms. In this report, we present a comparison of both noncovalent and covalent functionalization approaches in order to introduce a biocompatible glycoblock copolymer onto multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in order to enhance their potential in therapies. An anticancer drug (doxorubicin, Dox) was conjugated with two different end functionalized poly(1-O-methacryloyl-β-D-fructopyranose-b-(2-methacryloxyethoxy))benzaldehyde glycoblock copolymers, which were synthesized via reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization, by either noncovalent or covalent tethering. CNTs were coated separately with the synthesized drug-conjugated glycoblock copolymers and folic acid (FA) to obtain an efficient drug delivery platform for dual-targeting of glucose transporter protein (GLUT5) and folic acid receptors (FR) in breast cancer. A library of synthesized monomers, polymers and prepared glycoblock copolymer coated CNTs (hybrid-CNTs) using both approaches were comprehensively characterized by various techniques. Transmission electron microscopy measurements showed the homogeneous, smooth morphology of the prepared Dox-conjugated glycoblock copolymer coating of CNTs and confocal laser scanning microscopy images displayed successful cellular internalization of hybrid-CNTs in the MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell lines. This research demonstrates the potential of hybrid-CNTs as a biocompatible drug delivery system as well as in vitro use of Dox-conjugated vehicles for dual receptor mediated breast cancer therapy.