Curcumin-Loaded Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Markedly Enhanced Cytotoxicity in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells.


Department of Food Science, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung 20224, Taiwan. [Email]


Curcumin, a natural polyphenol extracted from a perennial herb Curcuma longa has been verified for many physiological activities such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties. The direct use of curcumin cytotoxicity studies are limited due to its unstable chemical structure, low bioavailability, easy oxidation, and degradation by ultraviolet (UV) light etc. Trying to overcome this problem, silica-encapsulated curcumin nanoparticles (SCNP) and chitosan with silica co-encapsulated curcumin nanoparticles (CSCNP) were prepared by silicification and biosilicification methods, respectively, and encapsulated curcumin within it. We investigated the antitumor properties of SCNP and CSCNP on different tumor cell lines. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis revealed that both SCNP and CSCNP were almost spherical in shape and the average particle size of CSCNP was 75.0 ± 14.62 nm, and SCNP was 61.7 ± 23.04 nm. The results show that CSCNP has more anti-oxidant activity as compared to curcumin and SCNP. The higher cytotoxicity towards different cancerous cell lines was also observed in CSCNP treated tumor cells. It was noted that the SCNP and CSCNP has a high percentage of IC50 values in Hep G2 cells. The encapsulation of curcumin improved instability, antioxidant activity, and antitumor activity. Our results demonstrated that nanoencapsulation of curcumin with silica and chitosan not only increase curcumin stability but also enhance its cytotoxic activity on hepatocellular carcinoma cells. On the basis of these primary studies, the curcumin-loaded nanoparticles appear to be promising as an innovative therapeutic material for the treatment of tumors.


anti-tumor,antioxidant activity,chitosan,curcumin,nanoparticles,silica,