Chitosan Particles for Delivering Yarrow Extract to Combat Colon Cancer Cells

Greg Howard
3rd July, 2024

Chitosan Particles for Delivering Yarrow Extract to Combat Colon Cancer Cells

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid encapsulated yarrow extract in chitosan-based particles to target colon cancer cells
  • Spray-drying microparticles showed over 94% encapsulation efficiency, making them highly effective in delivering the extract
  • The encapsulated yarrow extract demonstrated controlled release in gastrointestinal conditions, protecting the active compounds through digestion
Colon cancer remains a significant health challenge worldwide, and researchers continue to seek innovative treatments. One promising area of research involves natural compounds with antiproliferative properties, which can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. A recent study conducted by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid explored this potential by encapsulating yarrow extract, rich in chlorogenic acid and dicaffeoylquinic acids (DCQAs), into chitosan-based micro/nanoparticles to enhance colon delivery and efficacy against colon adenocarcinoma cells[1]. The study aimed to design and evaluate chitosan (CH) micro/nanoparticles using two different techniques: ionic gelation and spray drying. Chitosan is a biodegradable polymer derived from chitin, which is found in the exoskeletons of crustaceans. It has been widely studied for drug delivery due to its biocompatibility and ability to form nanoparticles[2]. The researchers used low molecular weight chitosan (LCH) and medium molecular weight chitosan (MCH) to encapsulate the yarrow extract. The ionic gelation technique produced smaller nanoparticles with higher yield values compared to the spray-drying method. However, spray-drying microparticles exhibited superior encapsulation efficiency (EE), greater than 94%, and allowed for the inclusion of a higher quantity of the extract. Specifically, spray-drying microparticles designed using LCH with an LCH:extract ratio of 6:1 (1.25 mg/mL) showed a mean diameter of 1.31 ± 0.21 µm and EE values exceeding 93% for all studied phenolic compounds. The release profile of the phenolic compounds was tested at gastrointestinal pHs (2 and 7.4). Most compounds showed a small initial release, followed by an increase at 1 hour, with a constant release up to 3 hours. Chlorogenic acid had the highest release values at 3 hours (56.91% at pH 2; 44.45% at pH 7.4). DCQAs release at 3 hours ranged between 9.01-40.73%, with higher values for 1,5- and 3,4-DCQAs. After gastrointestinal digestion, 67.65% of chlorogenic acid and most DCQAs remained encapsulated, indicating that the spray-drying microparticles effectively protected these compounds through the digestive process. This study builds on previous research that demonstrated the antiproliferative effects of phenolic compounds in green coffee bean and yerba mate extracts on various cancer cell lines[3]. The encapsulation of yarrow extract rich in similar phenolic compounds into chitosan-based particles represents an innovative approach to enhance the delivery and efficacy of these natural agents specifically against colorectal cancer. Moreover, the use of chitosan for nanoparticle formation has been extensively researched for its potential in colon drug delivery systems[2][4]. The current study's findings align with earlier work that highlighted the advantages of chitosan nanoparticles in protecting and delivering bioactive compounds to the colon[5]. By employing spray-drying techniques, the researchers achieved high encapsulation efficiency and controlled release profiles, which are crucial for ensuring that the active compounds reach the target site in the colon. In conclusion, the study by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid demonstrates that spray-drying microparticles are a promising vehicle for increasing the colon delivery of yarrow phenolic compounds, primarily chlorogenic acid and DCQAs. These findings suggest a potential new approach for developing effective treatments against colorectal cancer, leveraging the natural antiproliferative properties of yarrow extract encapsulated in chitosan-based particles.



Main Study

1) Design of chitosan colon delivery micro/nano particles for an Achillea millefolium extract with antiproliferative activity against colorectal cancer cells.

Published 2nd July, 2024

Related Studies

2) Recent advances in colon drug delivery systems.

3) Antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects of green coffee and yerba mate extracts, their main hydroxycinnamic acids, methylxanthine and metabolites in different human cell lines.

4) Chitosan based micro- and nanoparticles for colon-targeted delivery of vancomycin prepared by alternative processing methods.

5) Natural extracts into chitosan nanocarriers for rosmarinic acid drug delivery.

Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙