Despite advances in cancer therapy, the discovery of effective cancer treatments remains challenging. In this study, a simple method was developed to increase the efficiency of doxorubicin (DOX) delivery in a lung metastasis model. This method comprises a simple configuration to increase the delivery efficiency via precise engineering of the size, shape, loading content, and biodegradability of the drug delivery system. This system had a 3 μm discoidal shape and exerted approximately 90% burst release of the drug within the first 24 h. There was no cytotoxicity of the drug carrier up to a concentration of 1 mg ml−1, and DOX from the carrier was delivered into the cancer cells, exhibiting an anticancer effect comparable to that of the free drug. The ex vivo results revealed a strong correlation between the location of cancer cells in the lung and the location of DOX delivered by this drug delivery system. These drug carriers were confirmed to intensively deliver DOX to cancer cells in the lung, with minimal off-target effects. These findings indicate that this delivery system can be a new approach to improving the survival rate and reducing the side effects caused by anticancer drugs without the use of targeting ligands and polyethylene glycol.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (No. 2018R1D1A1B07042339 and 2019K2A9A2A08000123).
© 2022 The Royal Society of Chemistry.