Synthesis and characterization of micelles as carriers of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) for application in breast cancer therapy

João G. Marques, Vítor M. Gaspar, Elisabete Costa, Catarina M. Paquete, Ilídio J. Correia

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are emerging as a particularly valuable class of drugs due to their recently reported anti-tumoral activity in colorectal cancer. However, despite this tremendous potential, their bioavailability at the tumor microenvironment remains rather limited. To overcome this issue, in this work we synthesized biocompatible micellar nanocarriers composed of amphiphilic chitosan to deliver ibuprofen into breast cancer cells and evaluate its anti-tumor activity, while avoiding side-effects. Our results reveal that the formulations produced herein self-assembly into spherical micelles with suitable sizes for tumor accumulation (108-252. nm). Furthermore, by using a vortex-sonication method, ibuprofen was successfully encapsulated with high efficiency. Cell uptake studies show that ibuprofen-loaded micelles are readily internalized by tumor cells and deliver their cargo in the intracellular compartment as demonstrated by confocal microscopy images. This fact led to a remarkable reduction in cancer cell viability (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-383
Number of pages9
JournalColloids And Surfaces B-Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014



  • Anti-proliferative activity
  • Breast cancer
  • Chitosan
  • Ibuprofen
  • Micelles
  • NSAIDs

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