Glutathione-responsive biodegradable polyurethane nanoparticles for lung cancer treatment

Roshni Iyer, Tam Nguyen, Dona Padanilam, Cancan Xu, Debabrata Saha, Kytai T. Nguyen, Yi Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Lung cancer is one of the major causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Stimuli-responsive polymers and nanoparticles, which respond to exogenous or endogenous stimuli in the tumor microenvironment, have been widely investigated for spatiotemporal chemotherapeutic drug release applications for cancer chemotherapy. We developed glutathione (GSH)-responsive polyurethane nanoparticles (GPUs) using a GSH-cleavable disulfide bond containing polyurethane that responds to elevated levels of GSH within lung cancer cells. The polyurethane nanoparticles were fabricated using a single emulsion and mixed organic solvent method. Cisplatin-loaded GSH-sensitive nanoparticles (CGPU) displayed a GSH-dose dependent release of cisplatin. In addition, a significant reduction in in vitro survival fraction of A549 lung cancer cells was observed compared to free cisplatin of equivalent concentration (survival fraction of ~0.5 and ~0.7, respectively). The in vivo biodistribution studies showed localization of fluorescently labeled GPUs (~7% of total injected dose per gram tissue) in the lung tumor regions after mouse-tail IV injections in xenograft A549 lung tumor models. The animals exposed to CGPUs also exhibited the inhibition of lung tumor growth compared to animals administered with saline (tumor growth rate of 1.5 vs. 13 in saline) and free cisplatin (tumor growth rate of 5.9) in mouse xenograft A549 lung tumor models within 14 days. These nanoparticles have potential to be used for on-demand drug release for an enhanced chemotherapy to effectively treat lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - May 10 2020


  • Cisplatin
  • Glutathione
  • Lung cancer
  • Nanoparticles
  • Stimuli responsive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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