Cellulose nanocrystals: A multimodal tool to enhance the targeted drug delivery against bone disorders

Luca Zoia, Annalisa Morelli, Laura Talamini, Martina B. Violatto, Arianna B. Lovati, Silvia Lopa, Camilla Recordati, Chiara Toffanin, Anika Salanti, Luca Russo, Laura Colombo, Matteo Moretti, Mario Salmona, Barbara La Ferla, Paolo Bigini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: We investigated the use of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as drug nanocarriers combining an anti-osteoporotic agent, alendronate (ALN), and an anti-cancer drug, doxorubicin (DOX). Materials & methods: CNC physicochemical characterization, in vivo imaging coupled with histology and in vitro uptake and toxicity assays were carried out. Results: In vivo CNC-ALN did not modify bone tropism and lung penetration, whereas its liver and kidney accumulation was slightly higher compared with CNCs alone. In vitro studies showed that CNC-ALN did not impair ALN's effect on osteoclasts, whereas CNC-DOX confirmed the therapeutic potential against bone metastatic cancer cells. Conclusions: This study provides robust proof of the potential of CNCs as easy, flexible and specific carriers to deliver compounds to the bone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2271-2285
Number of pages15
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • bone tropism
  • cellulose nanocrystals
  • drug-delivery system
  • surface functionalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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