International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, vol.189, pp.223-231, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.Chemoresistance (CR) is one of the reasons why chemotherapy agents like Gemcitabine (GMC) remain insufficient in healing breast cancer. Activation of Nuclear Factor-kappa B (NF-κB) during chemotherapy is known as an important factor in the development of CR. The hydrophobic polyphenol curcumin is shown to inhibit NF-κB and hence CR. The aim of this work was to increase the poor bioavailability of curcumin by loading it into the nano-micelles made of Poly (Lactide-co-Glycolide) (PLGA) and levan, where levan as a natural fructose homopolymer makes the nano-micelle more stable and increases its uptake using the fructose moieties. In this study, a PLGA-levan-curcumin formulation (PLC) was designed and characterized. The size was measured as 154.16 ± 1.45 nm with a 67.68% encapsulation efficiency (EE%). The incorporation between the components was approved. Levan made the nano-micelles stable for at least three months, increased their uptake, and led to a 10,000-fold increase in the solubility of curcumin. The enhanced bioavailability of curcumin reduced the NF-κB levels elevated by GMC, both in vitro and in vivo. The PLC showed a complete tumor treatment, while GMC only showed a rate of 52%. These point to the great potential of the PLC to be used simultaneously with chemotherapy.