Poly (ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate) nanoparticles (PECA-NPs) as possible agents in tumor treatment

Antonella Obinu, Giovanna Rassu, Paola Corona, Marcello Maestri, Federica Riva, Dalila Miele, Paolo Giunchedi, Elisabetta Gavini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumor eradication has many challenges due to the difficulty of selectively delivering anticancer drugs to malignant cells avoiding contact with healthy tissues/organs. The improvement of antitumor efficacy and the reduction of systemic side effects can be achieved using drug loaded nanoparticles. In this study, poly (ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate) nanoparticles (PECA-NPs) were prepared using an emulsion polymerization method and their potential for cancer treatment was investigated. The size, polydispersity index and zeta potential of prepared nanoparticles are about 80 nm, 0.08 and −39.7 mV, respectively. The stability test shows that the formulation is stable for 15 days, while an increase in particle size occurs after 30 days. TEM reveals the spherical morphology of nanoparticles; furthermore, FTIR and 1 H NMR analyses confirm the structure of PECA-NPs and the complete polymerization. The nanoparticles demonstrate an in vitro concentration-dependent cytotoxicity against human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma cell lines (Caco-2), as assessed by MTT assay. The anticancer activity of PECA-NPs was studied on 3D tumor spheroids models of hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) and kidney adenocarcinoma cells (A498) to better understand how the nanoparticles could interact with a complex structure such as a tumor. The results confirm the antitumor activity of PECA-NPs. Therefore, these systems can be considered good candidates in tumor treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-528
Number of pages9
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019


  • 3D tumor spheroids
  • Anticancer activity
  • Nanoparticles
  • Poly (ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate)
  • Tumor treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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