Enhanced uptake of nanoparticle drug carriers via a thermoresponsive shell enhances cytotoxicity in a cancer cell line
Polymer particles consisting of a biodegradable poly[lactide-co-glycolide] (PLGA) core and a thermoresponsive shell have been formulated to encapsulate the dye rhodamine 6G and the potent cytotoxic drug paclitaxel. Cellular uptake of these particles is significantly enhanced above the thermal transition temperature (TTT) of the polymer shells in the human breast carcinoma cell line MCF-7 as determined by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Paclitaxel-loaded particles display reduced and enhanced cytotoxicity below and above the TTT respectively compared to unencapsulated drug. The data suggests a potential route to enhanced anti-cancer efficacy through temperature-mediated cell targeting.