Journal article
Nile Red-Poly(Methyl Methacrylate)/Silica Nanocomposite Particles Increase the Sensitivity of Cervical Cancer Cells to Tamoxifen


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Author list: Munther Alomari, Rabindran Jermy Balasamy, Dana Almohazey, Vijaya Ravinayagam, Mohammad Al Hamad, Deena Ababneh, Hiba Bahmdan, Abdul-Hakeem Alomari, Zakaria Mokadem and Abdelhamid Elaissari
Publisher: MDPI
Publication year: 2020
Journal name in source: Polymers
Volume number: 12
Issue number: 7
Start page: 1
End page: 13
Number of pages: 13
ISSN: 2073-4360
Web of Science ID: 000554783200001
PubMed ID: 32650474
Scopus ID: 85088290279
eISSN: 2073-4360


Tamoxifen (TAM) is a hormonal drug and is mainly used as an anti-estrogen in breast cancer patients. TAM binds to estrogen receptors (ERs), resulting in inhibition of estrogen signaling pathways and thus, a downregulation of cell proliferation. Cancer cells with negative or low ER expression will not uptake TAM and will show low response. Poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) nanoparticles were prepared using surfactant-free emulsion polymerization, then were loaded with Nile red (NR), which resulted in PMMA-NR. To enhance TAM delivery to cervical cancer cells (HELA), which is considered ER-negative, we loaded TAM and polymethyl methacrylate nanoparticles-Nile-red into silica (PMMA-NR-Si-TAM). The uptake and intracellular distribution were visualized by confocal laser scanning microscopy, and the in vitro cytotoxic activity was evaluated by MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-Diphenyltetrazolium Bromide) assay using HELA and non-tumorigenic cell line HFF-1. The sensitivity of HELA (LC50: 207.31 µg/mL) and HFF-1 (LC50: 234.08 µg/mL) to free TAM was very low. However, after the encapsulation of TAM with PMMA-NR, the sensitivity significantly increased HELA (LC50: 71.83 µg/mL) and HFF-1 (LC50: 37.36 µg/mL). This indicates that TAM can be used for the treatment of ER-negative cervical cancer once conjugated to PMMA-NR nanoparticles. In addition, the PMMA-NR formulation appears to be highly suitable for cancer imaging and drug delivery.

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Last updated on 2020-10-09 at 09:48