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Background: The manufacture of nanoparticles using manual methods is hampered by its challenging scaleup and poor reproducibility. To overcome this issue, the production of zein nanoparticles entrapping a lipophilic drug model, coumarin-6, by using a microfluidic system was assessed in this study. The influence of PEG density and chain length on zein nanoparticle characteristics, as well as their uptake efficacy in melanoma cancer cells, was also evaluated.

Methods: Zein nanoparticles were prepared by both manual and microfluidic approaches to allow comparison between the two processes. PEGylated zein nanoparticles with various PEG densities and chain lengths were produced by nanoprecipitation and characterized. Their cellular uptake was evaluated on B16F10 melanoma cancer cells in vitro.

Results: Zein nanoparticles have successfully been produced by both manual and microfluidic approaches. Parameters such as total flow rate and flow rate ratio of the aqueous and organic phases in microfluidic process, as well as the method preparation and aqueous to organic phase volume ratio during nanoprecipitation, have been shown to strongly influence the characteristics of the resulting nanoparticles. Continuous microfluidics led to the production of nanoparticles with low yield and drug entrapment, unlike nanoprecipitation, which resulted in zein nanoparticles with an appropriate size and an optimal drug entrapment efficiency of 64%. The surface modification of the nanoparticles produced by nanoprecipitation, with lower PEG density and shorter PEG chain length made mPEG5K-zein (0.5:1) the most favorable formulation in our study, resulting in enhanced stability and higher coumarin-6 uptake by melanoma cancer cells.

Conclusion: mPEG5K-zein (0.5:1) nanoparticles prepared by nanoprecipitation were the most promising formulation in our study, exhibiting increased stability and enhancing coumarin-6 uptake by melanoma cancer cells.


©2022 Meewan et al.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Publication Title

International Journal of Nanomedicine



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Mentor/PI Department

Immunology and Microbiology



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