Biocompatible fluorescent zein nanoparticles for simultaneous bioimaging and drug delivery application

Ravindran Girija Aswathy, Balasubramanian Sivakumar, Dhandayudhapani Brahatheeswaran, Takahiro Fukuda, Yasuhiko Yoshida, Toru Maekawa and D Sakthi Kumar

  • ANSN Editor
Keywords: nano


We report the synthesis of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) loaded biocompatible fluorescent zein nanoparticles. Zein is the storage protein in corn kernels that has a variety of unique characteristics and functionalities that makes zein valuable in various commercial applications. It is classified as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We synthesized zein nanoparticles of around 800 nm in size and conjugated with quantum dot ZnS:Mn. The nanoparticle was in turn encapsulated with the drug 5-FU. The luminescent properties of these nanoparticles were studied by using fluorescence microscopy. The nanoparticles were characterized and the drug release profile was studied. The biocompatibility of zein nanoparticle and the cytotoxicity with drug-loaded nanoparticle was studied in L929 and MCF-7 cell lines. The nanoparticles were successfully employed for cellular imaging. In vitro drug release studies were also performed. The biocompatibility of the nanoparticle showed that nanoparticles at higher concentrations are compatible for cells and are expected to be promising agents for the targeted delivery of drugs in the near future
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