Magnesium fluoride forms unique protein corona for efficient delivery of doxorubicin into breast cancer cells

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Background: The efficacy of chemotherapy is undermined by adverse side effects and chemoresistance of target tissues. Developing a drug delivery system can reduce off-target side effects and increase the efficacy of drugs by increasing their accumulation in target tissues. Inorganic salts have several advantages over other drug delivery vectors in that they are non-carcinogenic and less immunogenic than viral vectors and have a higher loading capacity and better controlled release than lipid and polymer vectors. Methods: MgF2 crystals were fabricated by mixing 20 mM MgCl2 and 10 mM NaF and incubating for 30 min at 37 °C. The crystals were characterized by absorbance, dynamic light scattering, microscopic observance, pH sensitivity test, SEM, EDX and FTIR. The binding efficacy to doxorubicin was assessed by measuring fluorescence intensity. pH-dependent doxorubicin release profile was used to assess the controlled release capability of the particle-drug complex. Cellular uptake was assessed by fluorescence microscopy. Cytotoxicity of the particles and the drug-particle complex were assessed using MTT assay to measure cell viability of MCF-7 cells. Results and Discussion: Particle size on average was estimated to be <200 nm. The crystals were cubic in shape. The particles were pH-sensitive and capable of releasing doxorubicin in increasing acidic conditions. MgF2 nanocrystals were safe in lower concentrations, and when bound to doxorubicin, enhanced its uptake. The protein corona formed around MgF2 nanoparticles lacks typical opsonins but contains some dysopsonins. Conclusion: A drug delivery vector in the form of MgF2 nanocrystals has been developed to transport doxorubicin into breast cancer cells. It is pH-sensitive (allowing for controlled release), size-modifiable, simple and cheap to produce.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2019


  • Cellular uptake
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Drug delivery
  • Drug release
  • Dysopsonin
  • MgF
  • Nanoparticle
  • Opsonin
  • pH-sensitive
  • Protein corona

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