Anticancer drug delivery with transferrin targeted polymeric chitosan vesicles

Christine Dufès, Jean-Marc Muller, William Couet, Jean-Christophe Olivier, I.F. Uchegbu, Andreas G. Schätzlein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)
179 Downloads (Pure)


The study reports the initial biological evaluation of targeted polymeric glycol chitosan vesicles as carrier systems for doxorubicin (Dox). Transferrin (Tf) was covalently bound to the Dox-loaded palmitoylated glycol chitosan (GCP) vesicles using dimethylsuberimidate (DMSI). For comparison, glucose targeted niosomes were prepared using N-palmitoyl glucosamine. Biological properties were studied using confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, and cytotoxicity assays as well as a mouse xenograft model. Tf vesicles were taken up rapidly with a plateau after 1-2 h and Dox reached the nucleus after 60-90 min. Uptake was not increased with the use of glucose ligands, but higher uptake and increased cytotoxicity were observed for Tf targeted as compared to GCP Dox alone. In the drug-resistant A2780AD cells and in A431 cells, the relative increase in activity was significantly higher for the Tf-GCP vesicles than would have been expected from the uptake studies. All vesicle formulations had a superior in vivo safety profile compared to the free drug. The in vitro advantage of targeted Tf vesicles did not translate into a therapeutic advantage in vivo. All vesicles reduced tumor size on day 2 but were overall less active than the free drug.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-7
Number of pages94
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • doxorubicin
  • glucose niosomes
  • glycol chitosan
  • polymeric vesicles
  • transferrin


Dive into the research topics of 'Anticancer drug delivery with transferrin targeted polymeric chitosan vesicles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this