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Combining Carbon Nanotubes And Chitosan For The Vectorization Of Methotrexate To Lung Cancer Cells

Giuseppe Cirillo, Orazio Vittorio, David Kunhardt, Emanuele Valli, Florida Voli, Annafranca Farfalla, Manuela Curcio, Umile Gianfranco Spizzirri, Silke Hampel

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A hybrid system composed of multi-walled carbon nanotubes coated with chitosan was proposed as a pH-responsive carrier for the vectorization of methotrexate to lung cancer. The effective coating of the carbon nanostructure by chitosan, quantified (20% by weight) by thermogravimetric analysis, was assessed by combined scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (N1s signal), respectively. Furthermore, Raman spectroscopy was used to characterize the interaction between polysaccharide and carbon counterparts. Methotrexate was physically loaded onto the nanohybrid and the release profiles showed a pH-responsive behavior with higher and faster release in acidic (pH 5.0) vs. neutral (pH 7.4) environments. Empty nanoparticles were found to be highly biocompatible in either healthy (MRC-5) or cancerous (H1299) cells, with the nanocarrier being effective in reducing the drug toxicity on MRC-5 while enhancing the anticancer activity on H1299.