Preparing and assessing the physiochemical properties of curcumin niosomes and evaluating their cytotoxicity in 3T3 and MCF-7 cell lines

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Pharmaceutics Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Pharmaceutics Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran. Herbal and Traditional Medicines Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran. Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Objective: Application of vesicular drug delivery systems has made major progress in pharmaceutical science and technology. Niosomal drug delivery is potentially efficient to improve the pharmacokinetic and pharmacological properties of many compounds. Curcumin (CUR) has several documented anticancer activities; however, it has a low bioavailability that necessitates the development of efficient delivery systems. Accordingly, different niosomal preparations were prepared and evaluated in the present study to find a suitable delivery system.
Materials and Methods: Span and Tween 20, 40, 60, and 80 were employed with various concentrations of cholesterol for studying the ability to form curcumin-loaded niosomes. Multiple characterization techniques including visual evaluation, particle size analysis, stability, encapsulation efficiency (EE), and release profile were studied. Cytotoxicity of curcumin niosomes on MCF-7 and 3T3 cell lines was determined using MTT assay.
Results: Visual and particle size analysis indicated the formation of seven niosomal formulations in the micron size range, while the formulation consisted of Tween 40/cholesterol (50/50 M%) with 0.05% w/v CUR had an average diameter of 475 nm. The latter formulation was selected and it had EE of 78.5%. The CUR release profile showed 18.7% release over a period of 300 min. The MTT results showed that CUR incorporation significantly increased the cytotoxicity of niosomes and the extent of toxicity was higher in MCF-7 cells.
Conclusion: In this study, a simple niosomal formulation was developed for CUR loading with favorable physicochemical properties. The presented niosomal curcumin had also considerable effects in cell toxicity studies, which can be suggested for future anticancer studies.


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