Artemisinin (ART) Drug Delivery Using Mixed Non-ionic Surfactants and Evaluation of Their Efficiency in Different Cancer Cell Lines

Elnaz Asgharkhani, Aazam Najmafshar, Mohsen Chiani


This study aims to investigate the effects of different non-ionic surfactants on physicochemical properties of ART
niosomes. ART is a natural compound that is used as an antimalarial and chemotherapy agent in medicine. ART has low
bioavailability, stability and solubility. In order to solve these problems and enhancing the efficiency of the drug,
nanotechnology was used. In the present study, several niosomal formulations of ART prepared using different molar
ratios of Span 60 : Tween 60 : PEG-600: ART in PBS. These three formulations were FI (1:1:0.5:0.5), FII (2:1:0.5:0.5)
and FIII (1:2:0.5:0.5), respectively. The encapsulation efficiency was measured by HPLC and the drug release was
evaluated by dialysis method. The cytotoxicity test was determined by MTT assay. The size, zeta potential and
polydispersity index of the vesicles was measured by Zeta Sizer. Stability study was performed within two months. The
MTT assay results showed that cytotoxicity effect of these formulations on MCF-7 cell line is better than C6 cell line and
the FIII had the best results for both of them. The entrapment efficiencies of the formulations I, II and III were obtained
82.2±1.88%, 75.5±0.92% and 95.5±1.23%, respectively. The results of size, zeta potential and polydispersity index
indicated that the size of the vesicles is below 200 nm, their surface charge is about -35 mV and they were monodisperse.
Stability and release study indicated that the formulation III has the best stability and release pattern. Therefore, the use
of PEGylated niosomal ART can effectively improve its therapeutic index, stability and solubility.


Artemisinin, Drug Delivery System, Non-ionic Surfactant, C6 Cell line, MCF-7 Cell line

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